Right to work laws are an interesting statue that up to 24 different states have on the books. In general they regulate the ability for employees to have the option of joining or not joining an existing work union. These laws give employees the option to choose if joining a specific union is beneficial to them. There are of course arguments for and against Right to Work laws. Regardless of which side of the debate you take knowing what the facts is what matters.
List of Pros of Right to Work
1. One of the biggest arguments for Right to Work laws is that as an employee you should have the right to choose who gets what part of your paycheck other than federally mandated withholdings such as tax and social security. If an employee does not feel the need to join a union they should have the freedom to choose so.
2. By forcing a person to join a union and have dues taken out of their paycheck automatically takes away their right to choose. This in addition to the fact that unions may represent a specific ideology that an employee does not agree with as well as that an employee may not wish to be associated to a specific union. The underlying concept of a union is to help employees get a fair deal and avoid being exploited by an employer. If the union is worth the money that would be put into it by the employee then there should be no reason for the employee to not want to join. If the employee disagrees with the actions or stance a union takes on a particular matter Right to Work laws allow them to opt out of the union whenever they so choose to.
3. Additionally by giving employees the option to join they will have more money in their pockets compared to those that are forced to join unions. Overall what it boils down to is allowing employees the option in whether they want to join a union or not.
List of Cons of Right to Work
1. As for states that do not offer Right to Work laws these states typically on average have higher pay scales for workers. While they are required to pay union dues should a union be available, they also have greater access to health insurance; this is of course outside of insurance provided by the affordable care act. Employees also are routinely better trained in states that do not have Right to Work laws.
2. Overall employees have great personal wealthy compared to those in Right to Work states leading to better economic standards. The gist is that unions help employees band together and fight for better working conditions, fair pay, better benefits, as well as provide services that otherwise would not be accessible on their own such as legal assistance and job placement.
3. Also the psychological benefits gained by a unions existence causes employers to be more likely to offer fair and competitive wages. Unions also can offer employee protections against unfair firing or insurance coverage for their families. As an added bonus unions can organize strikes to move specific employers towards making better deals for the employees.
Once everything is said and done it all boils down to what you want most out of your job. For many long term jobs a union can help you continue to make a living wage in addition to offering you added benefits as well as job security. However, they can also backfire as the case of the bakers union and Hostess. As the company and the union could not come to an agreement the company was forced to shut down causing all the bakers to lose their jobs. This of course is an extreme example. In many places unions fight to ensure that employees are not exploited by the companies that hire them. This is becoming more prevalent with the flooded job market following the crash of 2008. In many low pay industries like fast food and retail employees are attempting to unionize to fight for fair pay for the work they are doing.
Walmart for example is one of the leaders is underpaid workings with the vast majority of employees needing to receive federal and state assistance such as food stamps and Medicare/Medicaid. However, as mentioned above some unions may take part in actions that the employee may not agree with. For example teachers unions enforcing tenure, although this gives teachers a guaranteed job so they can focus on education, this can be detrimental in the case of teachers that under perform or do not perform at all. Both sides have fair points in their arguments, however, statistically states that do not have Right to Work laws fair better economically as well as have all around better employee treatment.