Recent weeks have brought us terrible news of the full on legal assault on some of workers’ recent major victories, but as we say farewell to 2017 we move forward to 2018 with the knowledge and rich history of working people winning over seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Workers stand together in a union to fight for better wages, job security, healthcare, retirement security, paid sick days, vacation, and other benefits. United, we’ve won strong contracts, enforced them and amplified the voices of working people in our economy and society. We’ve stood up to bullies who have used elected office as platforms to push unnecessary concessions and exposed corruption in local agencies.
So called “right to work,” funded by the corporate elites and the wealthy 1% seeks to take away our freedom to join together to negotiate a fair return on our work. While these are real challenges, we can overcome them if we hold firmly to the values that unite us: fairness, freedom, and equal opportunity to succeed, not just the wealthy 1%.
In the months leading up to the Supreme Court decision Janus v AFSCME, we will be inundated with news stories about “right to work.” We may even receive communication urging us to drop out of the union. Make no mistake: “right to work” has nothing to do with workers’ rights. It’s an intentionally misleading phrase. By turning unionized shops into an “open shop,” “right to work” make is harder to band together and advocate for raises and benefits.
Proponents of “right to work” laws claim that they prevent workers from being forced to unionize, but federal law already makes it illegal to force anyone to become a union member.
Instead, “right to work” laws tilt the balance further into the hands of bosses and employers. They make it harder for working people to resource their organizations and leave the right to pursue common interests solely for the rich and powerful.