National “Right-to-Work” Legislation Would Be National Disaster For All Working People

Photo credit: AP/Darron Cummings

by Laura Barrett

You don’t have to dig very deeply into the labor statistics of right-to-work states to see the devastating consequences that the anti-union legislation has on working families. Implementing right-to-work nationally would be an unmitigated disaster for tens of millions of working families already struggling to make ends meet.

In states that have implemented right-to-work laws, working people make less money on average. Right-to-work states have lower rates of health insurance coverage. Right-to-work states have a workplace death-rate that is nearly 50% higher than other states. Right-to-work laws disproportionately hurt women and working people of color.

What a shame that on the very first day of Black History Month, Republicans in Congress would introduce legislation that Dr. King once called “a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights.”

We urge Congress to scrap any attempts at passing national right-to-work legislation and instead focus on meaningful policies that will help working people earn a living wage, make it easier to recover stolen pay, and improve health and safety on the job.

These are the kinds of policies on which responsible politicians who are true champions for working people should be focused.

Laura Barrett is the Executive Director of Interfaith Worker Justice, a national network of more than 60 worker centers and faith-labor organizations committed to dignity and justice for all working people.