I have been asked my position on Union vs Right to Work by both voters and the National Right To Work Committee. Here is my response.
I fully support the right of Employees to organize, unionize, and collectively bargain. Our stagnant wages, lower standard of living, lower savings, and job insecurity, is a direct result of the Union Killing legislation enacted in the states and through our Congress.
Everyone agrees that the middle class created the greatness of our Country and industry through their labor, sweat, and loyalty. It is overlooked, however, that it was the Unions that empowered the middle class to demand higher wages, which allowed workers to afford buying a home, buying a car and then two, vacations, and have family time. Unions ended the work environment that was entirely one sided to the detriment of the workers and their families.
Unions fought for and brought us minimum wages, higher wages, safety regulations, the 8 hour work day, 40 hour work week, overtime pay, sick days, vacation days, pension plans and other retirement accounts, breaks during the workday, end of child labor, workers compensation, unemployment insurance, whistle blower laws, sexual harassment laws, Equal pay acts, social security, laws ending sweatshops, and other benefits which created and fostered a strong working class.
The recent anti union movement is a direct cause of the erosion of our economy and our standard of living. Look at the list of some of the things the unions fought for and got. Who do these things benefit? Does anyone really believe that Corporate America would have given the workers these benefits if it was not for unions? Unions also warned of the consequences of NAFTA and those warnings were ignored.
Never before, have big corporations had larger profit margins and larger profits. The stock market is at historical highs, yet our wages have not increased. Because our wages are kept artificially low, their earnings are skyrocketing. While the middle class and working poor struggle to make ends meet day to day expenses, CEO’s are earning over 373 times the average worker. Aside from this being unsustainable economically, it is an appalling discrepancy.
I understand the arguments big business is making against Unions. I also understand the push to eliminate minimum wage laws, and the real motivation behind them. I can not support positions that are against workers and that harm our economy and Country. Paying a worker 373 times less then a CEO is much less perfect.
Furthermore, the question of whether I support Unions or Right To Work is a false choice. Everyone has the right to work. But, if you work in a Union Shop, you should not get the benefits of membership such as better salaries, benefits, and lifestyle without being a member.
I support unions because they support the workers. Unions permit workers to bargain collectively for better wages and to be share in the rewards created through their hard work.