Monday, August 21, 2006

The High Cost Of "Right To Work" Laws To Working People

The International Brotherhood Of Boilmakers in Kansas City, Kansas offered a study conducted by the AFL-CIO on the high economic cost to working people of "right to work" laws. In "right to work" states only 7.6% of workers are unionized compared to 16.8% in free states. In "right to work" states the average lags thousands of dollars a year at just $24,600 compared to an average of $29,100 in free states.

Because of right wing pressure, the number of antiworker, probig business, "right to work" states shows a constant increase. The list now includes Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Lousiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, South Casrolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming. Recently Oklahoma joined this dubious list. All states that voted for Bush in 2004.

In all 50 states, management belongs to Chambers Of Commerce or other business organizations, yet the rights of working people to organize is restricted in these states. Working people simply do not have as much rights as management to organize. And standing alone in companies, workers have far less work safety protections, wrongful termination ability to recourse or access to employer paid health care, sick leave or maternity leave.

The human cost of "right to work" laws is indeed high. For many families it only forces them below the poverty for doing the same work that in a free state would allow the same family to be considered middle class. Management would certainly rebel if their wages were cut, yet many workers allow the politicians and their management big contributors to ruin their lives and fail to react and defend their right to a quality life.

Workers need to either unionize or else work out a plan for buying out their employer and creating a worker owned business or collective. Some employee owned businesses or collectives have should great promise. Some companies are worker owned through stock in a retirement plan type arrangement. Getting rid of management and turning workplaces over to worker control has proven itself viable in many cases in which management claimed that they could not show a profit. In large companies in which management pulls out millions in salary, but claims the company cannot show a profit or wants to lay off workers, workers should approach management with viable offers for worker ownership of the company and buy out the management.


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