What Does A Right To Work State Mean?By William Finch on February 26, 2010, 7:00 am Posted in Finance News
In 1947 Congress passed the Taft-Hartley Act that outlawed the “closed shop” practice enforced by many unions. The “closed shop” meant that when a workplace had been unionized any employee who did not join that union could be terminated. “Union shop” rules stipulated that new employees must also join the union or at least pay the dues.
In one section of the Taft-Hartley Act it states that states have jurisdiction over whether to enforce the union rules or to be a right-to-work state. In a right-to-work state no employee can be forced to join a union.
Right To Work States
Twenty-two states have right-to-work clauses. In these states employees do not have to fear retribution from unions for not joining or fear losing their jobs. There are pros and cons on working in this type of state. One major pro is not being forced to join a union. One major con is the lack of unionized power that can push for great changes in the work force.
The states with right-to-work laws include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.
What This Mean For You
Depending on which state you live in you could be subject to unionized workforces. In the non- right-to-work states unions can invade a workplace and force all the employees to join the union or be terminated. In this situation there is little an employee can do to avoid joining the union short of finding another job.
There is a prevalent fear among employers and employees in these states becasue there is no protection from unionization. However, in companies where workers are underpaid and unrepresented unionization can be a blessing. In this situation a union can fight for the rights of the workers and create a better working environment.