A new editorial piece in the Columbian advocates making Washington state a right-to-work state, joining 24 other states in adopting the law (that number will become 25 after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signs right-to-work into law next week). The editorial’s argument comes down to one very important fact: right-to-work laws are a “matter of individual freedom.” And, “it is a freedom that Washington state should embrace.” The Columbian,
“Right-to-work laws basically say that employees in unionized shops can choose to not join the union and to not pay union dues. The legislation was made possible by the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, which was passed by Congress over a veto from President Harry S. Truman. Without a right-to-work law, unions and employers can legally agree to a closed shop in which employees must be members of the union as a condition of employment.
That is where freedom comes in. Compelling employees to pay union dues — which often go, in part, to support political causes and candidates the employee might or might not agree with — is an affront to the workers’ freedom of speech and freedom of association. It is an affront to the workers’ ability to choose how to spend the money they have earned.”
The Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) isn’t too happy with the Columbian’s editorial. Through its online mouthpiece (The Stand), WSLC launched an attack with rather feeble responses like the following:
- Freedom” doesn’t mean free. Why should unions be forced to negotiate, maintain and enforce contracts for employees who are free-riders?”
This statement is simply nonsense. Essentially, the WSLC is employing the argument that people should be stripped of their freedoms because otherwise some of the work of unions, which exists entirely to support workers (at least that what the original purpose of them), would rub off on non-member workers.
- “Any serious observer of the openly partisan push for so-called “right-to-work” understands that Republican Party politics is driving these campaigns in order to defund traditional allies of the Democratic Party.”
The WSLC admits the truth: unions are the “traditional allies” of Democrat Party and provide Democrat politicians with funding. But, where do unions get the m.oney to fund their “traditional allies?” Through due paying union members. Many are forced to involuntarily fund politicians they fundamentally do not agree via those dues. That’s part of the argument the Columbian editorial makes.