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OPPOSE SO-CALLED RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWS

WHEREAS:

            So called right-to-work laws allow workers – “free riders” – to receive the benefits of a union contract without paying the cost necessary to secure those benefits; and

WHEREAS:

            Federal law guarantees no worker can be forced to become a union member or to provide any monetary support to a political or social cause they do not believe in; and

WHEREAS:

            Contrary to claims made by proponents of so-called right-to-work laws, academic research shows that such laws have no impact on economic growth, no influence on employment and are correlated with a decrease in wages; and

WHEREAS:

            The average worker in a right-to-work state makes $5,538 a year less than workers in other states; and

WHEREAS:

            So-called right-to-work laws, which weaken unions, also weaken the middle class. Nine of the 10 states with the lowest percentage of workers in unions – Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia – are right-to-work states and each has a weak middle class. The share of income going to the middle class, which is defined as the middle 60 percent of the population, is below the national average in each of these states; and

WHEREAS:

            Unions generate greater political participation of citizens and ultimately an effective voice for workers and the middle class and a stronger democracy. Weakened unions are less able to advocate for policies important to working families and campaign for those politicians who support them; and

WHEREAS:

            So-called right-to-work laws are at the top of the agenda of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate-funded organization where corporate donors have equal say with elected state legislators in deciding policies and priorities.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

            That AFSCME and its affiliates continue to lobby, work in coalitions and identify supportive politicians, to stop all efforts to implement so-called right-to-work laws and roll back those laws that exist; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: 

            That AFSCME and its affiliates continue to counter the lies advanced by those individuals and organizations determined to weaken and destroy labor unions, by educating the public and elected officials about the real purpose and effect of these laws.

SUBMITTED BY:    

David Warrick, Executive Director and Delegate
Willie Wallace, President and Delegate
 Brian Zimmerman, Vice President and Delegate
AFSCME Council 62
Indiana/Kentucky