Facts about so-called "right to work"

So-called “right to work” (RTW) is a legislative tactic used by corporations to severely weaken or eliminate unions by making it legal for workers who are protected by a union contract to opt out of paying membership dues.

Why is RTW such a big deal?

Membership dues help pay for the expenses the union incurs while bargaining and enforcing contracts. When workers opt out, but the union still has to represent them, it limits the union’s resources therefore weakening its ability to not only bargain good contracts, but implement safety and health programs in workplaces, lobby against legislation that threatens our work and more.

These laws are anti-union and anti-worker because they drive down everyone’s wages, benefits, and overall living standards.

By many measures, the quality of life is worse in states with “right to work” laws. These laws take away working people’s freedom to join together and negotiate for a fair return on their work. In states with these laws, wages are lower, poverty levels are higher, people are less likely to have health insurance, and resources for education are lower—even infant mortality and the likelihood of being killed on the job are higher.

States with RTW Laws...

Have Lower Wages and Incomes

Have Higher Workplace Fatality Rates

Have Higher Uninsured Rates

Have Higher Poverty and Infant Mortality Rates

Invest Less in Education

With millions of Americans unemployeed and underemployeed, RTW is an ill-timed distraction from the issues that really matter to working families like raising wages, affordable and accessible health care, affordable education and secure retirement.