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Although Paul Gessing calls the Rio Grande Foundation “nonpartisan,” but the goals specified at the bottom of his op-ed appear to be identical to Republican Party policies.
In particular, “right-to-work” legislation has been passed recently by Republican dominated legislatures and signed by Republican governors with the goal of reducing union influence in states such as Michigan and Indiana.
While right-to-work may sound even-handed, under current labor law, all workers employed by a company with a union contract in a right-to-work state, are covered by that contract, even if they don’t belong to the union.
Thus, non-union workers get the benefits of the union contract without paying union dues in right-to-work states. Without these workers paying dues, the union’s ability to pay striking workers is seriously reduced, making it far easier for a company to force the union to accept lower salary and fewer benefits.
So while Gessing’s “individual responsibility” and “economic freedom” ideas sound great, the reality is that unions are the only recourse workers have to prevent abusive, powerful employers from making it impossible for workers to support their families.
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