From Paul, Civic Action <[email protected]>
Subject “right-to-mooch laws”
Date October 7, 2021 10:01 PM
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If you don’t know what “right-to-work” legislation is, you may assume from the name alone that it protects the working class. The reality is the exact opposite: Right-to-work (RTW) laws give employers more power and money at the expense of workers.

In a recent episode of the “Pitchfork Economics” podcast, Shane Larson, the senior director for government affairs and policy for the Communications Workers of America, jokes that these RTW laws should be called "right-to-work-for-less" or "right-to-mooch" laws. That’s because RTW laws interfere with a union’s ability to collect dues from its members, which starves unions of funds, power, and bargaining capability, which ultimately just lowers worker wages, benefitting rapacious capitalists at the expense of everyone else.

Larson explains RTW laws have a deeply racist history. They were concocted by white supremacists in the 1930s and 1940s in an effort to stop unions and keep workplaces segregated. In the years since the civil rights movement, corporations have scrubbed the overt white supremacy from their RTW campaigns, but they've continued to advocate for the law with all their estimable power.

Today, 28 states have RTW laws, and workers in those states make about $1,600 less a year than non-RTW states. Workers in RTW states also have less employer-provided health insurance and significantly lower retirement plans or pension plans. It’s a pure, clear benefit for corporations at the expense of the workers. 

But there’s hope: The House of Representatives passed a bill this spring that could change RTW for good. The Protecting the Right to Organize Act, or PRO Act, strengthens the rights of American workers to unionize without employer interference and reverses RTW legislation that defunds unions. 

The PRO Act puts money in workers' pockets, which in turn boosts our local economies, and improves peoples' lives – but the bill is now gridlocked in the Senate, so we need your help to get it passed. We’re working with organizations across the country to create a massive grassroots push for the PRO Act. Time is running out to get this bill passed, so we need you to sign on now:

RTW laws are crushing unions and hurting workers. Add your name to tell the Senate: Pass the PRO Act NOW!

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Thanks for helping us advocate for an economy that works for everyone – not just a handful of rich corporate executives.

Paul Constant
Civic Action


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