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Time for Unions to Get Right to Work

The Associated Press is reporting this morning that Indiana Unions are making a desperate bid in shops and labor halls across the state to keep their members from bolting.  I say, good, and I wish them luck.

This stems from the passage of “right to work” which now makes it illegal  for an employer to mandate an employee pay union fees as a condition of their employment.  Unions argued that this was an attempt to drive down wages while supporters said it was about job creation and economic freedom.

I have maintained that any union that is doing its job and providing good service, should not fear right to work. Instead, use RTW as an opportunity to sell the services the union provides.

In the AP article, local labor leader Brent Voorhies says he’s going around to different labor halls reminding workers of the services they provide, including grievance procedures, training, and negotiating wages and benefits.  Makes perfect sense to me,  most rational people don’t mind paying for a service if they think the service is valuable.

Now this is the point where the “free loader” arguments come in and RTW opponents say that by law they are forced to represent everyone in the workplace, regardless of whether they pay dues.  That is true, but not the entire story.  As I have stated before that when the union is certified it can decide whether it wants to be the exclusive collective bargaining unit in the workplace or represent members only.  However, it’s much easier for an organization to make a few bucks when everyone is forced to join.  It is a much harder sell when membership is voluntary.  And please note, there is nothing to stop the unions from going to Washington to lobby the federal government to change the law so they do not have to represent people who don’t pay for the service.

So as I read about unions lamenting about a loss of membership, I have a hard time finding sympathy. People will likely stay if you make the case.  Will there be some people who take advantage of the system, of course.  However, most people are willing to pay for something if they think it is worth the value.  So in the brave new “right to work” world we live in, unions can survive, they will just have to actually have to work smarter to do it.  The key words in that sentence are “work smarter.”

  • Guest II

    From talking to a union rep in our building, the union can represent a non-union person if there is a problem with the company. Then afterward the problem is settled the union can bill that person for their services. He has been told they will charge “lawyer-type” rates for representation of non-paying employees in order to try to keep everyone paying.

  • Guest II

    Sorry, should read:
    “Then after the problem is settled,”

  • Dave

    Japanese innovation (competition) was a natural, free market response to American manufactured complacence; a rising sun that illuminated a deficit of quality standards & trade imbalances lining DC pockets.  

    Unions have a free market opportunity; to compete rather than perversely run & hide (false economy of protection racquets).  If they embrace a healthy mindset of competition, they can redefine union representation; in more amicable terms of partners in production vs. free market saboteurs.

  • Ramon

    Is this info from your usually  “reliable”  sources in the street?   LOL

  • Abdul

     Yup! LOL all you like, RTW is the law of the land.

  • M Theory

    Key word = WORK.  That says it all.

  • Rico

    Then next? Sleepin’ wid da fishes!

  • Pascal

    That won’t fly.  Union reps are usually pretty ignorant.

  • Anonymous

    I’m with you Abdul, let’s keep up the war on workers. Lower wages means more $ for me from my investments.

    The last union job I only paid $22.00/hr., but that was over 20 years ago & I wasn’t close to topped-out. I’m glad not to be blue-collar in today’s environment. Busting the unions will show kids why they need to get a graduate degree if they want to be in the middle class when they reach 40.

  • Rico

    $22.00/hr for something you probably learned the first half hour of your first day. Unions deserve to be busted!

  • M Theory

    I pay $65 an hour for my non-union electrician and feel like I’m getting a deal. 

  • M Theory

    Handymen on Angie’s List range from about $25 an hour on the low end up to $110 or so on the high end.

  • http://www.thePoliPit.com JednaVira

     What was your union job 20 years ago that you got paid $22 an hour?  I would love to know, because if you were getting paid $22/hr for pressing a button or packing a box, you have proven why unions are destroying our economy.  How can a company be competitive while paying wages like that.

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