What’s Going On?

With Republicans in control of Congress, the White House, and 32 statehouses across the country, organizers are hard at work beating back so-called “right-to-work” laws, anti-union legislation that makes it much more difficult for workers to organize.

“Right-to-work” should be called “right-to-work for less.” The Economic Policy Institute found that, even after controlling for state differences such as cost of living, workers in “right-to-work” states earn at least 3.2 percent less than workers in other states and are less likely to have employer-sponsored health coverage or pension plans. The discrepancies apply to both union and nonunion workers.

Already, 28 states have some form of “right-to-work” laws on the books, the most recent being Missouri, which passed a bill this February. More states are attempting to follow suit and with Republicans in control of Congress and the presidency, there’s a chance we could see a national “right-to-work” law that would cripple organized labor throughout the entire country.

What Can I Do?

Sign our petition with Jobs With Justice, Fight for $15, and 18 other organizations calling on Congress and state lawmakers to reject so-called “right-to-work” laws. And whether you live in a “right-to-work” state or not, join campaigns for workers’ rights in your area. To get started, find local Jobs With Justice chapters here or see if there is Fight for $15 organizing in your area.

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Back in January, John Nichols looked at anti-union legislation passed in Kentucky after Republicans took control of the governorship and both legislative houses in that state.