33% of Union Households Would Opt Out

NEFW

Are you for workers’ rights, but against union bosses and bullies?

Then grab some comeback cake, raise your Twinkie, and celebrate National Employee Freedom week! You may be asking, “What do Twinkies have to do with labor relations?”

Right-to-work laws in some states, which give employees the ability to opt out of compulsory union membership, could be crucial for the Hostess company’s comeback. The company went bankrupt last year, leaving many Americans nostalgic for the classic sugary snack cakes, after a standoff with its unionized workers. Thankfully, Twinkies are set to hit shelves again by July 15th thanks largely to non-union workers, bakeries located primarily in right-to-work states and their more efficient operating structure.

However, in many states, unions have used their political power to restrict a workers’ rights to opt out of membership. As a result of the union’s compulsory stranglehold on labor relations in both the public and private sectors, employees end up receiving harmful unintended consequences. In these states, employees  out on opportunities in jobs with many companies, like Hostess, when they decide to locate facilities outside of their borders. Additionally, union workers have no choice but to deduct a portion of their paycheck to support union policies that they may not agree with or are even antithetical to their political views.

Today ends a week of celebrating and bringing to light the ways employees across the nation can empower themselves to choose whether union membership is right for them.

When asked, “If it were possible to opt out of membership in a labor union without losing your job or any other penalty would you do it?” A national survey by the National Employee found that around 33% of union households would opt out of membership.

If you’re in that 33% percent with a union that isn’t serving you, acting against your own political interest, or you have a better way of spending your dues, visit http://employeefreedomweek.com/ and find the ways you, as a worker, can take back your right to choose.

Forced Unionization Hurts Families

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Kevin’s lunch has to be ground up by a food processor, and his dad shaves, bathes and dresses him every day. He and his sister were born with disabilities that leave them unable to take care of themselves.

Their parents, Robert and Patricia Haynes, care for their daily needs. The Haynes are two people out of about 60,000 who are home healthcare providers.

One day, a caseworker who regularly checks in on the Haynes family told them they were going to be unionized.

Patricia responded, “Why? I don’t need to be in a union.”

There was an opportunity for unions to forcibly collect dues directly out of people’s paychecks and raise money without even having to provide services.

Robert Haynes was employed with the Detroit Police Department for 25 years, so he understands the role of a union. One large purpose of a union is to negotiate wages and working conditions on your behalf. Robert and Patricia’s employers are listed as their disable children and their workplace is their home. Are the unions going to negotiate with their kids?

For Robert, “This is not pro-union or anti-union… we don’t belong in a union.”

Like many others who forcibly have union dues collected from their paychecks, the Haynes family deserves a choice to not join a union.

To learn more about policies that give families like the Haynes a choice, visit The Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s website MIWorkerFreedom.org and watch the below video.

Why is Michigan “Right to Work” a big deal?

Michigan, the birthplace of the United Autoworkers union, passed right-to-work legislation that will prohibit coercing workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment. As it currently stands in Michigan, teachers, firefighters, home healthcare providers, and others must automatically pay a portion of their salaries to unions.

Forced unionization is wrong for moral and economic reasons. Unions today are very political in nature. For example, the SEIU contributed more than $60 million dollars to Obama’s campaign alone in 2008. Forcing people to pay a portion of their paycheck to a political organization is fundamentally immoral. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has exposed this scheme for what it is:

The SEIU has taken over $33 million from the elderly and disabled in Michigan in the last six years through a unionization scheme it orchestrated when Jennifer Granholm was governor. The majority of these people had no idea they were being forced into a union.

The video of the Haynes family, below,  is an example of this.

In addition to being morally wrong, the economic benefits of right to work are evident. The 23 other state that have enacted right-to-work legislation prove that business growth and improvement are a result of increased workplace choice.

Of the ten states with the highest unemployment rates, seven have compulsory union membership, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Michigan ranks forty-sixth out of the fifty states and the District of Columbia with a 9.1 percent unemployment rate. (Source: Capitol Vanguard)

Despite the compelling moral and economic basis for right-to-work, there was a battle going on to undermine the efforts in Michigan that we will likely see in all other states that attempt to pass these sorts of reforms. When union dues are not compulsory, the unions become fearful of losing power. We saw the visceral reaction by protesters in this report from the state Capitol yesterday:

Assembling by choice and creating voluntary unions is a rich part of our history, but the system has been taken too far by union leaders who use coercive measures to maintain their political power. Michigan is a bright spot that provides hope to other states looking to improve workplace freedom and economic opportunity.