What is a “right-to-work” law, and why do Democrats oppose them?

From the Heritage Foundation.


It’s hard to imagine Uncle Sam telling Walt Disney where to make movies or McDonald’s how many hamburgers to make, but if you take a look at the case of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) versus Boeing, you’ll see that the federal government is trying to do just that: dictate where and how private industry may do business. And it’s doing so to bolster one of President Barack Obama’s favorite special interests—labor unions.

To catch you up on the story, Boeing Corporation decided to build a new assembly plant in Charleston, South Carolina, in order to produce the 787 Dreamliner. The NLRB (which is responsible investigating unfair labor practices) got wind of the decision and last month filed a complaint against Boeing, alleging that the company decided to build the plant in South Carolina out of retaliation for union strikes at its Washington state facilities. Nevermind that Boeing actually added 2,000 jobs in Washington on this particular project.

South Carolina is a right-to-work state, meaning that Boeing can hire non-union workers. For fans of big labor (like President Obama and his allies), right-to-work states are a threat to unions’ dominance. (It’s worth noting that the NLRB today is composed of four members, three of whom are Obama appointees.)

The NLRB’s intentions, then, could be easily inferred. It is doing all it can to help unions at the expense of right-to-work states, corporations and at the end of the day, American workers. But in this case, we have even more than inference.

This is important. The way to destroy the Democrats as a political party is to go after their funding.And a lot of their funding is taken from union workers, many of whom are social conservatives who don’t agree with Democrat priorities like taxpayer-funding of abortions and legalizing same-sex marriage.

Here’s a good explanation of the difference that right-to-work laws make to individual union members.


As Oregon teachers and lawmakers continue brainstorming various education reforms, getting rid of mandatory union dues should be at the top of the list.

That’s nothing against the Oregon Education Association. As far as I can tell, OEA has well-meaning, knowledgeable people working for it. And unlike in Washington, where the state-level teachers union was recently riddled with lawsuits over how it spends members’ dues, Oregon teachers who have had unacceptable run-ins with their state-level union either don’t exist or are hard to find.

But no matter how decent a job a union does, a teacher should never be forced to give it money as a condition of his or her employment, especially when unions are known to engage in all sorts of politicking. Just imagine if your employer took a portion of your paycheck each month and spent it furthering causes and issues and candidates with which you disagreed.

As Susan Stacy, a special education teacher in Seaside, said, “I don’t agree with a lot of the policies or pursuits of the NEA or the OEA. And when they support organizations or causes I flat out disagree with, I don’t think I should be forced to support them. Even when it comes to organizations I think are good, it should be my choice to support them.”

Stacy has been teaching in Oregon for 12 years. Before that, she taught for five years in Utah, a state without compulsory unionism. When she was hired here, she was surprised when she received her first paycheck to find a deduction for union dues. She asked her district what it was all about since she wasn’t planning to be a member and then was informed that in Oregon she had to pay dues.

“I was incensed,” she said.

[…]Taxpayers should be against compulsory union dues, too. After all, taxpayers employ teachers, not unions. It’s crazy that the state allows a union to take hundreds of dollars from 47,000-plus educators each year to help further its agenda. While the majority of the union’s work involves collective bargaining, the union regularly opposes charter schools and partakes in legislative battles to eliminate them. It routinely backs Democrats, endorsing just eight Republicans from among 90 state races in 2008.

There is a move to pass a right-to-work law on right now in New Hampshire. This would allow workers to work without being forced to join a union, and to pay union dues.

4 thoughts on “What is a “right-to-work” law, and why do Democrats oppose them?”

  1. To a liberal, a corporation is a body without a soul—the automatic suspect when any “economic crime” is perceived to have been committed—zombies of greed feeding on hapless workers. Meanwhile, they see unions as everything that personifies true humanity, evoking automatic sympathy even when they draw up their longest lists of demands.

    Until these paradigms are replaced, it will be impossible to have a rational discussion with most liberals on this topic.


  2. That clip is priceless! I used to have it saved on my computer until it crashed and I lost it. Hope’s delivery of that punchline question is genius perfect and could not sound more like a sincerely asked question than if it truly was sincerely asked. A great combination of acting and comic timing. What’s more, it’s based on truth.

    The Boeing situation is a travesty. It’s an intrusion on private business as well as on state’s rights. The idea of uniting fifty states into one union (Yeah, I know, there were only thirteen at the beginning) included the ability of each state deciding for itself how things should be done. Other states would adopt or reject the methods of their neighbors on the strength or weakness (the results of) those methods. S. Carolina’s methods attracted the attention of Boeing, while Washington’s compelled Boeing to look elsewhere. This is as it should be and Washington should be considering changing its ways rather than trying to force Boeing to bend over.


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