'Right-to-work' Is Wrong

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Following is from AFT President Randi Weingarten: Right-to-work is not what it seems; it should be called "work-for-less," but Republicans in Congress are pushing it anyway. This deceptively named law is a favorite of out-of-touch CEOs and those focused on profits and tax cuts for the wealthy over the well-being of working people. In states where right-to-work has already been enacted, it has driven down wages and turned full-time union jobs with benefits into part-time jobs. You see, this law makes it easier for Republican policymakers to tear apart our unions. An America without a labor movement is exactly what they want. Workers deserve actual rights at work. We deserve to have a voice, without fear of retaliation. That's why we have to take a stand against misnamed right-to-work laws right now. The first step is signing this petition. These laws are yet another attempt by corporate interests and their bought-and-paid-for representatives in Congress to tip the balance even further in their favor. They want to do this at the expense of working people and middle-class jobs. This makes it easier to ship jobs overseas, cut wages for American workers and silence the voice of public sector workers like teachers, nurses and firefighters. And you don't just have to take my word for it. Studies show that wages in states with right-to-work laws are 3.1 percent lower than in states without them. That translates to more than $1,500 per year. Ask yourself, do we really want a law that could lower wages by 3.1 percent? Nowhere is this clearer than in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Following the recession, these two neighboring states took entirely different approaches. In Wisconsin, Republican Gov. Scott Walker pushed through anti-union right-to-work laws, and his state's economy has been, at best, sluggish. In Minnesota, with Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's pro-union agenda, the state has led the region in recovering from the recession and in job growth. Politicians need to focus on making the economy work for working people, which means investing in good jobs and supports for families, and respecting people's right to have a voice in the workplace to negotiate for fair wages, safe working conditions, retirement security and healthcare. Right-to-work does the opposite. That's why we need to stop it dead in its tracks. Our progressive coalition is gearing up to make sure right-to-work never becomes law nationwide. We need your help. Sign the petition right now. Let's stop right-to-work. In solidarity, Randi Weingarten AFT President