…is summed up fairly well here:
The chief argument against right-to-work laws is factually incorrect. Although most union members do not know it, the law does not require their union to negotiate on behalf of non-members.
The National Labor Relations Act permits, but does not mandate, unions to negotiate as the “exclusive representatives” of all employees at a unionized company. This means that all workers must accept the union’s representation. They may not negotiate separately with their employer. Whether they like it or not, the union represents them.
Thus, unions have considerable leverage when bargaining with employers—they speak for every employee. But unions also have leverage over individual employees, since workers cannot bargain for themselves and must accept what their union negotiates. This enables unions to impose terms like mandatory dues on workers.
Many workers would be satisfied with their union and pay the dues. Others would not. Terry Bowman has worked at Ford Motor Co.’s Rawsonville plant for 15 years. He has long objected to United Auto Workers’ Local 898 priorities. He would not voluntarily pay union dues.
But exclusive representation means Bowman and workers like him have no choice.
Right-to-work laws prevent unions from imposing mandatory fees, giving employees the right to work without paying union dues. Otherwise, right-to-work has no effect on collective bargaining. All other negotiations continue as before. What’s wrong with that?
Unions object that right-to-work is actually “right-to-freeload.” The AFL-CIO argues “unions are forced by law to protect all workers, even those who don’t contribute financially toward the expenses incurred by providing those protections.” They contend they should not have to represent workers who do not pay their “fair share.”
It is a compelling argument, but untrue. The National Labor Relations Act does not mandate unions exclusively represent all employees, but permits them to electively do so. Under the Act, unions can also negotiate “members-only” contracts that only cover dues-paying members. They do not have to represent other employees.
In other words, right-to-work means unions can still solicit members and can still represent those members in negotiations. And if those members are the majority of a work force there is still leverage to be had with management.
But that’s not what the unions want. They want everybody in a shop to be unionized, and they want everybody paying dues.
Because the unions make their revenues from dues. Period. Full stop.
This is about money. This is about their ability to drill revenue from the wallets of people they couldn’t get it from in an arm’s-length transaction.
And it’s also about power. Not about power to negotiate with employers; it’s about political power. The unions own the Democrat Party because they fund the Democrat Party.
There’s nothing “unfair” about Right-To-Work. Nothing about Right-To-Work means unions can’t negotiate contracts for their members.
And you won’t hear any union people even bother to address this question: if a union negotiates a collective bargaining agreement with management that benefits all employees, why wouldn’t those employees be appreciative enough to join the union?
They’ll tell you the non-joiners are freeloaders and scabs. But that’s typical left-wing babble; always go immediately to the personal attacks when faced with somebody who disagrees with you. It doesn’t address the question, because the union folks don’t want to admit that people might not be interested in paying union dues which fund political activities they disagree with and might not be interested in paying the salary of distasteful folks like Richard Trumka and James Hoffa. They don’t want to admit that the unions have lots of problems which turn people off.
They also don’t want to admit that their position is one fundamentally opposed to individual freedom.