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Right to Work… for Less


Written by – Mikey-B  (Profile/Bio:

Here in good ole Missou-rah, a debate has been hitting the chambers of the state congress – the fight over “Right to Work”.

RW1Now, if you live with someone that works in construction, you know what Right-to-Work is; if you don’t have a tradesman frequenting your abode, then chances are you view that “Right” to “Work” phrase as something you should get behind.

This is MY take on the so-called “Right to Work” and the toll it could take on our economy here in the Show-Me State.

First thing we need to remember is that in any type of market, be it the auto market, housing market and yes even the job market, the value of something is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Remember that truth as you go through this. THE VALUE OF SOMETHING IS WHAT SOMEONE IS WILLING TO PAY FOR IT!

Okay, so a little background on what “Right to Work” is; Unlike the sound of it, it DOES NOT give anyone a right they didn’t previously have. There were no people that wanted to hang drywall or twist wire nuts and were told “No sir, you don’t have a constitutional right to WORK”. Nobody got shooed away because of color, religion, sex, etc., that necessitated this legislation.

“Right to Work” is to bust unions – plain and simple.

Anything that anyone spouts off in a speech or a column that says otherwise is the equivalent of a modern day snake-oil salesman. And just like those shysters of the past, these proponents of “Right to Work” are trying to sell you something that WILL NOT help you in any way, shape or form, and will leave you with less money than you started with.

So what exactly is “Right to Work”?

“Right to Work” makes it ILLEGAL for a company to hire exclusively union employees.  No more “closed” shops. Now, there’s nothing saying that a company right now, HAS to be union. No law what-so-ever. There’s no law that says if you wish to be non-union, that you can’t have a job.

So the question becomes, “Why?” Why have this legislation? What’s the motivation?

The reason is, to weaken the leverage of collective bargaining. Unions set the scale in the trades. They hire representatives to negotiate with business owners issues of pay, insurance benefits, vacations… you get the point.

Now of course, business owners want to spend as little as possible in an attempt to put more green in their pocket. Honestly, you can’t blame them for that. That’s business. That greed is the basis of capitalism.

RW2So, why do they agree to pay what they pay? Because ….. the value of something is what someone is willing to pay for it.

The union representatives are there to ensure that that value is reached.

Do they try to get more than what their guys are worth? Of course they do! Would they really being doing their job if they didn’t?

So business owners come to the table trying to low-ball, union reps try to high-ball, and through BARGAINING they meet in the middle. Voila! The scale is set. All business owners and workers in that particular field of occupation know what the going rates are.

If the business owner doesn’t want to pay that, he opens a non-union shop and hires people who ARE WILLING to work for less. They agree to it. No one forces them. Even if they only agree to it because they need the work, both the worker and the owner know that if the option to make more money or better benefits or whatever comes along, they’re probably going to take it.

So I ask again, “Why have this legislation?

If “Right to Work” passes, business owners can hire people… workers to come into union shops that aren’t IN the union.

Why – so that that person (who is NOT covered under collective bargaining) can negotiate their OWN terms. You think the business owner is going to accept ANY terms that are above what he is already paying? Why would they? The only terms they’re going to accept are terms UNDER scale.

When this happens, they can bring more and more people in for less and less. So much so that when the union rep’s go to the bargaining table, the owners KNOW that they don’t have to concede ANYTHING! If the union strikes, so be it. They have workers that can’t strike.

Now, the biggest argument I hear for the pro- RTW’s is that it will lower the cost of goods. Cars, houses, factory made gizmos….they’ll all be cheaper.

But why should the cost go down?

Customers have proven that they are willing to pay the already set price. Remember, the value of something is what someone is willing to pay for it. So, just because it costs that business owner less to provide whatever product, it DOES NOT mean they are going to charge less for it. It means they will put more coin in their bank.

Simply put.

RW3Now, will “Right to Work” create more jobs? Sure it will. Where one worker was, that made say…$30/hr., that business owner can now have two guys at $15/hr. Twice the labor for the same price.

What a deal… for the OWNER – but what about the worker?

The guy who used to be able to support his family with his skill now can’t afford to. Not only does he make less, the cost of things HASN’T gone down and due to other factors that cause inflation, as the prices go up, there’s less chance he’ll be able to get a raise to help pay for it.

This causes a state of poverty, when a person can’t afford to provide adequately for their family. It’s no wonder that of the ten states with the highest level of poverty, EIGHT of them are “Right-to-Work”.  The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Sure, more people are working. But chances are they are also working a second job because their main one doesn’t pay enough. They are made to work longer hours, because owners are willing to pay time and a half. It’s still cheaper than what is was before. These workers who bust their butts on a daily basis, trying to do nothing more than support their family, will have no choice but to succumb to whatever scale the owners decide.

Workers wanting to start their own company will be too indentured to open the doors of their own company. It might seem like I’m writing in outlandish “could be’s”, but look at Florida compared to Missouri.

Florida is a “Right to Work” state. The cost of living is higher in Florida and the average tradesman makes nearly HALF of what they do in Missouri. The cost is HIGHER, because…. people are willing to pay that price.

It’s not lower because it costs business owners less.

It doesn’t just apply to tradesmen though. It’s ANY field that has unions. Teachers and cops, butchers, car makers….all of them. Blue collar workers. Average people. People who want to simply live modestly.

“Right to Work” is NOT about helping Average Joe Citizen. It is nothing more than an attempt by Big Business owners for a chance to put more money in their own pockets by crippling the very people that work for them.

It doesn’t grant ANY rights. It’s a scam.

RW4I urge everyone to end “Right to Work” laws. Call your representatives. Tell them to vote “NO”. Protect our carpenters and electricians. Business owners as a whole have a history of treating their employees like third rate citizens. It’s the EXACT reason unions were formed in the first place – to keep business owners from taking advantage of employees.

“Right to Work” IS that dangerous. Your silence tells corporate big wigs it’s okay. It lets them know that you are willing to “pay” that price.

Is that really what you think our middle class is worth? Nothing?

Vote down “Right to Work”. Tell them loudly that that sort of legislation is wrong. If you don’t, well…..the value of anything is worth what you’re willing to pay for it.


(Mikey-B ARCHIVES:   

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