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Do you believe in right-to-work?

posted 6/6/2013 2:28:51 PM |
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I for one believe in right-to-work for people. Love to see my state pass this.

Even though top Republicans have said a package of right-to-work bills doesn’t have support, opponents appeared in droves yesterday at the Statehouse, sporting local union-chapter T-shirts, pins and stickers.

One bill would authorize a ballot question on whether to enshrine language in the state constitution making it illegal to require union membership as a condition of employment; the other is a standard bill, and would apply only to private-sector employees.

The opponents packed the committee room and overflow room as sponsors Rep. Kristina Roegner, R-Hudson, and Rep. Ron Maag, R-Lebanon, citied several polls showing most Ohioans support such laws. One was a Saperstein Associates poll done in March for The Dispatch, in which 65 percent of respondents supported right-to-work.

But Gov. John Kasich has repeatedly said right-to-work isn’t on his agenda, and Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, said last month he did not think the bills have enough support to pass. For labor advocates, the possibility of right-to-work is even more threatening than in 2011, when voters repealed a law that considerably restricted collective bargaining for public employees.

Since then, both Michigan and Indiana have passed right-to-work laws. The Republican-controlled Michigan Legislature fast-tracked its version in December, and it became law in a matter of hours.

The proximity has made the issue palpable for both sides.

“Right-to-work is right on our borders now,” Roegner said. “This is something we at least thought we should be engaging in the discussion of.”

In an email, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern cited Michigan, where he said the law was passed “in the dead of night.”

“If we are not vigilant, the same thing could happen here,” he wrote.

At the moment, that chance is looking slim. After the hearing, Roegner said she wasn’t sure if the bill would get a second hearing, but wanted to raise the issue out of principle.

Opponents say right-to-work laws would create a so-called “free-rider effect” allowing employees to reap benefits negotiated by union leaders without having to pay dues. That, they say, could collapse the entire system.

“It really does hurt your bottom line as a middle-class person living in the state,” said Daria DeNoia, a Columbus City Schools teacher and union member who attended the hearing.

For right-to-work supporters, freedom to choose is the bottom line. And they’re ready to bet voters will agree.

“There’s nothing more fair than that,” Maag said in his testimony.

The Columbus Dispatch

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Jun 6 @ 3:37PM  
No I don't. Now I have a lot I could say about this, but being honest, I don't want to spend too much time on it. There is a reason for trade unionism and we all know about that. Now did union labor costs price American out of markets. Yes, they did. But that is now a mute point in many aspects as everything is made in China these days.

But when it comes to things like teachers and professions that are not going offshore, I oppose right to work laws. Workers lose rights and can get let go for little or no reason and have no recourse or protection. Right to work sets up too much cronyism, office politics, etc. Also in right to work states older employees can be let go for no reason to keep the employer's health insurance and workers comp. costs down. I saw this sort of thing a lot when I was a veterans employment counselor for the State of Texas, a right to work state.

Jun 6 @ 3:39PM  
Ok, I understand that unions are there to negotiate and protect worker's rights, and I'm fine with that.

But, when one is applying for a job, why should paying dues for something they may not want to participate in be a requirement? I know, to some that may sound crazy a worker not wanting union protection. But there are those out there who do not want it. Sure, I know, go apply for a nonunion job...but what if that union job is all they can get at the time?

If a worker wants to pay union dues, fine. But a person looking for work, shouldn't be denied employment because they don't want to pay dues. It should be the choice of the individual worker if they want to be represented by a union or not.

When it comes to the issue of raises, I feel it should be based upon how an employee at work performs. Is it really fair that the person who is always late, always calling in, who does "so so" work, get the same raise as the person who is on time, rarely, if ever, calls in, and is a top performer? Where is there any encouragement to do better if it's a guarantee to get a raise? How will that benefit the company and the employees?

I don't know...I know there are people who support unions and collective bargaining, I'm not one of those people.

Jun 6 @ 3:41PM  
BTW, good post and a green. I also want to add that I occasionally saw good employees get let go shortly before they were vested for qualifying for retirement

Jun 6 @ 10:26PM  
Although I agree with WoW on this issue, I would rather have "RtW" than be part of a Union.

Jun 7 @ 2:27AM  
NC is a right to work state which means a no rights for workers state, Did you know in a right to work state if you are wrongfully fired there is little recourse you can take? The wages are rarely above minimum wage no matter how many years you work there and teachers and state employees are some of the worst paid in the country, It is a bad idea thought up by people who would still keep slaves if it were legal here, Trust me you will not like the results if your state gets that passed,

Jun 7 @ 7:26AM  
WoW is totally correct it's sad. I totally dislike that I live in a right to work where the union is a total joke. I have seen my pension raped as well as any pay raise stopped for the last three years I work two jobs while school is in session and a third in the summer.. I write grants each school year to fund my class. Now I am watching co-workers being bullied and either quitting or retiring early Having no recourse. Hell I lost a job just after I bought a house for asking a kid to not throw crayons. It was actually only because the principal did not like me it was my second year teaching and I almost lost my total career because this woman disliked me in a right to work state they can legally do this.. I don't like you so yeppers get out.. I would prefer paying union dues and keeping my job even if you don't like me.. I lost everything and have yet to recover.
So my thoughts on all you who live in Union states come work down here for a few years then talk to me and WoW and RJ...


Jun 7 @ 7:49AM  
Trade unions, in their heyday, created a thriving middle class. A unionized laborer could own a home, send kids to college, and retire on a pension. They spent money in the community and generated economic activity.

It's a myth that manufacturing jobs went overseas because unions drove up wages in America. Manufacturing jobs are going to countries where children work in sweatshops for $10 a day. So even if we paid factory workers $7.00 an hour, it would still be cheaper to ship jobs overseas.

Perhaps its time to start questioning the patriotism of American executives who increase profits by shipping American jobs overseas, rather than blaming American workers for asking for a living wage.


Jun 7 @ 7:49AM  
The fact is that in the years since 1980, union membership has dwindled to the point where only a tiny fraction of6.6% of the private sector workforce in America is unionized. Yet we still see jobs going overseas.

Jun 7 @ 1:28PM  
Okay, a couple of you gave pros and cons of unions and right-to-work arguments, while others just gave pro union arguments and nothing else.

My turn now with what I see going on, and my take on it.

Unions are not the same as they once were. Sure, unions do help workers with higher wages and benefits, but at the same time, are responsible for higher costs of products on the market.

It's a myth that manufacturing jobs went overseas because unions drove up wages in America
No myth at all, it's reality. Many of the high cost manufacturing jobs companies don't want to pay are sent oversees thanks to unions who I feel ask for more than what they deserve sometimes.

There is good and bad on both sides, but these days, I see unions abusing their power. They won't let workers decide whether or not to be part of one. No freedom to choose. There's too much greed in the unions. Workers dues go directly to the democrat party and their causes, even when a lot of workers don't want their dues to go to them.

I have seen a lot of thuggery, intimidation, and corruption in unions. Tactics used by them to achieve any means and goals necessary.

Thanks to all who posted.

This blog is now closed to those who have made their arguments for both sides.

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Do you believe in right-to-work?