Wisconsin has been a right-to-work state for about a year now; but in a bold move last month, Judge William Foust of Wisconsin suspended it. Foust found that “forbidding unions from collecting fair share payments from non-members who benefit from their services is an unjust taking.” The International Union of Operating Engineers locals 139 and 420 had filed suits claiming the law violates the NLRA. The ruling was revoked yesterday by a state court of appeals judge. Wisconsin is right-to-work again…for now. We’ll see if the same thing happens in West Virginia…
After becoming the 26th state to pass right-to-work legislation earlier this year, the West Virginia AFL-CIO and the state’s unions are taking the decision to court.
It makes sense why unions hate right-to-work so much – it allows people who don’t want to be union members to opt out. However, Vincent Vernuccio, director of labor policy at the Mackinac Center, says unions are actually benefiting from right-to-work legislation.
“According to BLS data, unions in right-to-work states gained more members in 2015 than those in states that allow forced unionism. These gains come despite the fact that non-right-to-work states have over 7 million more workers than right-to-work states…Between 2005 and 2015, union membership grew in right-to-work states by about 1.3 percent, but fell around 9 percent in non-right-to-work states.”
Vernuccio’s thought process here is that this growth is due to the fact that “right-to-work protections force unions to provide better service and value to members, making them more desirable.”