“Right-to-Work” (RTW) laws make it optional for workers protected by a union contract to help pay for the expenses that a union incurs while guaranteeing the rights of all employees. RTW laws restrict freedom of association by prohibiting workers and employers from agreeing to contracts that include fair share fees, forcing dues-paying union members to subsidize services to non-union employees.
By restricting the ability of workers to join together and collectively bargain, RTW laws weaken unions, workers’ rights, and the economy. Research has found that wages in RTW states are at least 3.2% lower than those in states that allow collective bargaining. Workers are also more reliant on government assistance programs and are less likely to have employer-based health insurance.
Since workers earn less due to RTW laws, the local tax base is smaller and workers spend less money back into the economy, which ultimately hurts the local economy. In addition, economic research has found that there is 17% lower economic productivity per worker in RTW states.