Right-to-work laws

State laws that make it illegal for labor unions and employers to enter into contracts that provide for a business to employ only union members in the jobs covered by the contract. One typical version of a right-to-work law reads “No person may be denied employment, and employers may not be denied the right to employ any person, because of that person's membership or non-membership in any labor organization.” Labor union leaders typically seek the repeal of right-to-work laws because much lower percentages of workers choose to join unions and pay dues in states where such laws are in effect. Defenders of right-to-work laws tend to argue that workers who refuse to join unions mainly do so because they just do not value the collective bargaining services that unions perform and/or because they disagree with the political causes that unions support with their dues money. Opponents of right-to-work laws tend to see refusal to join a union mainly as attempting to be a free rider who enjoys the very real benefits of union representation without having to pay his fair share of the cost. About 20 US states have some version of such a law presently in effect.

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