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“Right-to-Work” Laws Lower Wages For All Workers

Unlike its name implies, “right-to-work” does not have anything to do with a right to employment. Twenty six states currently have right-to-work statutes that make it more difficult for workers’ to organize into unions. The “right-to-work” movement is funded by large business interest seeking to weaken the ability of workers to unionize and collectively bargain.

The Economic Policy Institute has found that states with “right-to-work” laws generally lower the wages of all workers compared to states without “right-to-work” laws. According to an updated Economic Policy Institute study:

“Wages in RTW states are 3.1 percent lower than those in non-RTW states, after controlling for a full complement of individual demographic and socioeconomic factors as well as state macroeconomic indicators. This translates into RTW being associated with $1,558 lower annual wages for a typical full-time, full-year worker.”

Why do business interest continue to advocate for “right-to-work” laws? It’s simple: If a business can lower its cost of labor, it can make record profits.

“At their core, RTW laws seek to hamstring unions’ ability to help employees bargain with their employers for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Given that unionization raises wages both for individual union members as well as for nonunion workers in unionized sectors, it is not surprising that research shows that both union and nonunion workers in RTW states have lower wages and fewer benefits, on average, than comparable workers in other states,” says the Economic Policy Institute.

To learn more click HERE to read the Economic Policy Institute study.