Effects of Right to Work Laws on Employees, Unions and Businesses

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Effects of Right to Work Laws on Employees, Unions and Businesses

by John W. Cooper

Available online at: http://www.johnwcooper.com

© 2004 John W. Cooper

Acknowledgements First I would like to thank my parents for being there for me while I was writing this paper. Father, your involvement with the legal profession sparked my interest in the law. You are an inspiration to me and inspired me to take on this legal topic. Mother, thank you for supporting me while I wrote this paper. Without your support and guidance I would not be where I am today. I would also like to thank those who have contributed so much to the study of Right to Work laws, including Baird, Dinlersoz, Ellwood, Fine, Greer, Holmes, Mishel, Moore, and Wilson, who made this paper possible. Lastly, I would like to thank Professor Siedel and my fellow senior seminar classmates for providing me with valuable insights, new ideas, and much needed perspective.

Abstract Should a state adopt a Right to Work law? This question has been and continues to be hotly contested. In brief, Right to Work laws prohibit unions from including certain types of union security clauses in their contracts with companies that effectively force the company to make their employees either join the union or at least pay a proportion of their union dues as a condition of employment. Proponents of Right to Work laws point to research that says Right to Work laws have a positive effect on states that adopt them while opponents of Right to Work laws do just the opposite. The purpose of this paper is to sift through the great deal of research currently available to decide whether a state should adopt a Right to Work law. To make this decision, this paper primarily focuses on how Right to Work laws affect a state’s people: their wages, their employment levels, their morality, their unions, and their wealth. In examining the moral issues associated with Right to Work laws, this paper looks at both the “forced union dues”...