What ‘Right to Work’ is about
“Right to Work” is really a misnomer as nowhere is anyone’s right to work infringed upon, regardless of whether the state has this legislation or is an “Agency Shop” state.
“Closed Shop,” in which you had to belong to the union if the company was unionized, has been illegal since the late 1940s under the Taft-Hartley Act, passed over President Harry Truman’s veto.” “Agency Shop” means if a company is unionized, you either join the union or pay an “agency fee” for the services the union provides, which is more than just better pay and benefits.
Many in Nebraska don’t seem to understand that here, if you have no labor contract, you can be fired anytime and the employer doesn’t even have to give you a reason. With a labor contract, you have a grievance procedure to deal fairly with any disciplinary action, including termination.
Suppose Nebraska passed a law that said if you wanted any goods or services from a retailer or other business, you could have those goods or services for free, just because you didn’t want to pay for them. Business leaders would be outraged.
However, that is exactly what “Right to Work” does to unions. The unions must provide the benefits of the labor contract to all employees, whether members of the union or not, and cannot charge anything for it.
Unfortunately, there are many people in our society who are more than happy to take something for free and let others pay for it.
Tim Morrison, Omaha
President, Communications Workers of America Local 7290