“Right to work” is the name for a policy designed to take away rights from working people. Backers of right to work laws claim that these laws protect workers against being forced to join a union. The reality is that federal law already makes it illegal to force someone to join a union.
The real purpose of right to work laws is to tilt the balance toward big corporations and further rig the system at the expense of working families. These laws make it harder for working people to form unions and collectively bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions.
The U.S. Supreme Court will make a decision in the coming weeks whether or not to undermine the freedom of millions of teachers, nurses and other public workers to have strong unions. Today, the AFL-CIO has launched a new website, FreedomToJoin.org, that provides critical information about the Janus v. AFSCME case, counters misinformation, explains the value of union membership and draws attention to the wave of collective action in America.
Big-moneyed corporate interests have brought Janus v. AFSCME forward because they understand how working people in unions can negotiate a fair return on our work. While its focused on public employees, Janus is part of a multipronged attack on our institutions and values we hold dear. Right-wing corporations have tried to crush public unions for decades, and they’ve poured tens of millions of dollars into this case alone in an effort to slash pay and cut benefits for nurses, EMS workers, 911 dispatchers, security personnel and others who keep our communities clean and safe and provide other essential public services. Yet even in the face of these attacks, all over the country workers are organizing and striking as we haven’t seen in years. America is waking up to the benefits of unionism, and we’ll continue to organize and mobilize, no matter what the Supreme Court decides.