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Today, Michigan became the 24th state to pass what is called a "right-to-work" law making it illegal for labor unions to require employees to join and contribute dues. Are such laws proper? Do labor unions have the right to require association and payment in return for employment?

asked Dec 12 '12 at 09:29

JK%20Gregg's gravatar image

JK Gregg ♦

It is my understanding that a "right to work" law prohibits unions from entering into certain contracts with employers. As such, it would not be present in a proper government.

That said, unionization is already something which is highly regulated by government. If more than a certain percentage of a certain class of employees vote to start a union, an employer is required to recognize that union. It can be argued that those "right to work" laws lessen such regulation, or at least make it more fair.

(Dec 12 '12 at 10:07) anthony anthony's gravatar image

To answer your other question more directly: "Do labor unions have the right to require association and payment in return for employment?" Yes, they do, if they have the uncoerced agreement of the employer.

(Dec 12 '12 at 10:12) anthony anthony's gravatar image

See http://www.nlrb.gov/rights-we-protect/employerunion-rights-obligations These rules are the problem. Especially "It is an unfair labor practice for either party to refuse to bargain collectively [...] but parties are not compelled to reach agreement or make concessions." and "If the Agency finds that impasse was not reached, the employer will be asked to return to the bargaining table. In an extreme case, the NLRB may seek a federal court order to force the employer to bargain."

This is the problem. "Right to work" laws may mitigate it, but sans govt-forced bargaining, they aren't needed.

(Dec 12 '12 at 10:18) anthony anthony's gravatar image
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Asked: Dec 12 '12 at 09:29

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Last updated: Dec 12 '12 at 10:21