Day 75: State Right to Work Laws

Workers’ Rights and the Right to Work Battle

DAY 75 ACTION: Learn about unions and stop right to work laws!


Protestors in Charleston, WV. The state’s right to work law is under judicial review after the legislature overrode the governor’s veto. Credit: Teamsters

The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On this day in 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis. He was there to join a labor strike by garbage collectors. In his honor, we are exploring a labor issue today.

We can thank unions for the eight hour workday, weekends, child labor laws, and safer workplaces. Unions build worker power and democratize workplaces. But union membership has been declining for decades, and there is widespread wage stagnation.

The deceptively named “Right to Work” laws aim to further cripple unions. No worker can be forced to join a union but traditionally, workers covered by union contracts (because they work where a union exists) had to pay dues. Right to Work laws eliminate the dues requirement, undermining interest in joining (you’ll pay; your coworker won’t but will receive the same benefits) and starving the unions. 28 states have adopted these laws. Now the new administration and Congress want to pass a federal Right to Work law.

Today’s Action: Learn more about the labor movement and the impact it has had on society. Protect the right of workers to unionize. Call your representative and tell them to oppose any federal Right to Work law.

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