By Hugh Giordano, UFCW Local 152 Representative
The working class has been under attack for many years, with bad trade deals, big business lobby, and pro-corporate politicians. It’s no wonder the working class can barely keep their heads above water. But there could be some good news coming our way! On September 20th, the U.S. Senate introduced a Bill called “Protecting Workers and Improving Labor Standards Act.”
The Senate’s new pro-union/pro-worker bill has one intention – repeal Right to Work on a national level. Right to Work or as the labor movement calls it, “Right to Work for less” is a law that was originally formatted in 1947 through the Taft-Hartley amendments and allows States to pass laws allowing workers to opt out of paying any union dues or fee’s while still garnishing all of the benefits that a union provides. “So-called Right to Work laws give corporations the ability to trample workers’ rights and dismantle unions, I refuse to let that happen. At a time when Americans are working harder and earning less for the time they put in, we should be making it easier for workers to raise their voices and bargain for better wages and safer working conditions.” said Senator Elizabeth Warren who is the lead author of the Senate bill.
Representative Brad Sherman, who is a co-sponsor of the legislation, says it best, “Their stated goal is to take jobs from other states by weakening unions and, therefore, lowering wages,” Sherman went on to say, “Current “Right to Work” laws require unions to represent non-dues paying employees, thereby creating free riders-people who benefit from the union contract and representation but don’t pay.”
When workers opt out of paying dues, this creates major financial issues and creates a very unstable environment when having to stand up to big corporations with billions of dollars to trample on the voices of the working class. When this happens many workers fall victim to predatory labor practices, lower wages, longer hours, and hazardous working conditions.
One of the biggest objectives of “Right to Work” is to defund the labor movement as a whole and weaken the strength that unions bring to the work place. The Economic Policy Institute found that when “Right to Work” passes in a state, benefits and wages decrease. Studies have shown that business may increase as labor becomes cheaper, but reduced wages and benefits mean that each worker now struggles to keep up, even in a 40 hour work week, millions of hard working Americans find themselves barley able to pay their bills. In many cases, workers need to find a second job to just stay afloat. This equates to the company making their profits off the backs of their employees.
Big business, pro-corporate politicians, and the corporate lobby claim that the cost savings through “Right to Work” allow the business to grow without having to deal with labor unions. Essentially business owners are telling the working class that they save money off your hard work and dedication and don’t have to pay you the true wage you should be guaranteed, yet the workers are the ones create the wealth for the CEO’s and corporations. Many corporations and corporate lobbyist still push the “Trickle Down” theory, with the belief that if you put more money in your CEO’S pocket, those profits will end up in the workers pocket. With the average CEO making 365 times more than the highest paid employee, the act of destroying workers’ rights through a horribly phrased law truly is, “The Right to Work for Less.”
We ask that all union members and pro-union Americans contact your local and international Labor Presidents, along with your local and State AFL-CIO and ask them to get behind “Protecting Workers and Improving Labor Standards Act” while also emailing your elected Congressional and Senate leaders urging them to become co-sponsors .
The fight for the working class is an endless battle, but the repeal of “Right to Work” a.k.a “Right to Work for Less” makes it that much easier for the working class to have a fighting chance.
Article from online periodical: http://washingtonexaminer.com/author/Sean-Higgins/ Sep 20, 2017, Democrats introduce bill to repeal right-to-work nationwide.
Article from online periodical: http://www.insidesources.com/elizabeth-warren-wants-ban-right-work/ September 20, 2017 by Connor D. Wolf. Elizabeth Warren Wants to Kill Right-to-Work.
Article from online periodical: www.prnewschannel.com/2017/10/04/senate-democrats-aim-for-nationwide-right-to-work-repeal/ By PR News Channel, October 4, 2017, Senate Democrats aim for nationwide Right to Work repeal
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