Talk:Right-to-work law/Archive 1

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Archive 1


Job Fatalities

Job fatalities average about 30% higher in these states than the rest of the country, and 15 of the 20 states with the highest rates for on the job fatalities were right-to-work.

Is there a source for this statement? If after seven days evidence to butress assertion is not introduced, portion will be removed as original research.

MSTCrow 03:26, May 21, 2005 (UTC)
Paragraph removed due to lack of source.
MSTCrow 12:25, May 28, 2005 (UTC)
I don't think this ultimatum=>deletion action follows the Wikipedia guidelines ("Be bold in contributions, but not in destructions"); a more appropriate action would be to add a {{Fact}} tag. Fortunately, most of the removed information has been replaced (with appropriate citations) -- I would still like to see the 30% number back in the article; I'll add it if/when I can find an appropriate citation. Calzero 06:58, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually, the burden of evidence is on the editor who adds or restores disputed content to the article. The ultimatum appears to have been given as a courtesy. It's not a question of being bold. Such a statement should have been properly sourced in the first place, and no one is required to add a {{fact}} tag to anything. MoodyGroove 02:35, 3 November 2007 (UTC)MoodyGroove

I find it interesting that in the argument against right-to-work the list the statistics for fatalities the way they do. Using the numbers the author provides, 22 out of fifty are in right-to-work states leaving 28 out of fifty in non right-to-work states.DarthAlbin

Impartiality Question

For example, the departure of high-paying industrial work from union states to right-to-work states would decrease real wages, etc. in union states. Such disparities are not due to the ineffectiveness of unions, but due to ownership attempts to leave and generally avoid union states in favor of right-to-work states, in which they can pay lower wages.

Any way to re-word this paragraph a bit? It does convey a viewpoint but attempts to pass it off as a generally accepted fact. Maybe there is another way to word it a little more impartially? --Wootonius 09:06, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

I have attempted to clean up this article to a better standard of quality, and have reviewed the comments above and have tried as best as I can to make portions of the article more NPOV where criticisms exists, but while allowing both sides to argue their positions. I also added the comment on Arkansas' right-to-work provision, which is actually in its Constitution and not a statute.

Original Research Question


You removed the section that stated, proponents of right-to-work laws argue union leaders are more likely to abuse their power in the absence of right-to-work-laws. You said it “sounds like original research” and asked for facts to back this up. I want to make sure I understand… You’re not asking for facts to back up that their argument is a good one. You’re asking for facts to back up the idea that “proponents of right-to-work laws argue thusly”, correct? Lawyer2b 06:26, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Sure, but there naturally would need to be a short explanation on how they developed that conclusion. Just stating "X aruges" does not really inform the reader of much, and is kind of weasley. In that particular section I removed, it looked to me as if it was an uninformed editors opinion. But I could be wrong, as you noted. --sansvoix 07:19, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
The evidence that right-to-work law proponents use that argument can be found at the National Right to Work Committee website. They state, “Compulsory unionism breeds corruption. In each issue of "Exposed,” the National Right to Work Committee will highlight yet another example of union-boss abuse spawned and perpetuated by Big Labor’s government-granted privilege to force workers to pay union dues, or be fired." How does the following seem for a good summary of the argument and short explanation? "They argue further that union leaders are more likely to abuse their power, both for union matters and for external political purposes, if they are permitted to forcibly procure membership dues from all employees whether they want union membership or not. As evidence of this, they cite the thousands of complaints the National Labor Relations Board receives from workers who perceive they were abused by unions." Lawyer2b 14:28, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
I'd say that is the same as before, perhaps a bit longer (:
All the vague concepts would need to be quantified and defined. What do they mean by "abuse"? "Forcibly procure membership dues" --is that with a gun, ..extortion? How do employees decide if they want union membership..?
What is needed is facts, maybe some opinion on facts, not commentary.--sansvoix 09:37, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure what part of what I suggested be included in the article you felt was commentary and what you meant by that. I’ve established the argument is not original research and while I definitely think it would be nice to quantify and define the things you mentioned, I don't see why that should be a necessary condition before mentioning the argument in the article. Unless you have another objection I'd like us to agree I can go ahead and add the description of the argument as I have now. Lawyer2b 13:19, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
Not only would it be nice, it would be neccesary. Wikipedia isn't a mouthpeice, these kind of statments need to be backed up. I suggest you paraphrase it, and add in some of the missing facts/info.--sansvoix 21:35, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
I think you are mistaken. I don't believe stating the fact that "proponents of right-to-work laws argue thusly" requires their arguments to "be backed up" any more than being able to cite that they are indeed made by right-to-work law proponents; and that much I have done. If I am mistaken, can you please direct me to the Content Guidelines I would be violating by adding what I proposed? Lawyer2b 22:32, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Outside View

Ok, Lawyer2b asked me to come over here, so I figured i'd add my two cents from briefly looking at the situation. Here's what I can tell you i've found can save some trouble

  • Plagiarism or Advocacy = Bad. Don't sound like you're trying to speak for or from anywhere. I know it's tough since we've all got points of view, but the best thing to do is to sound like you don't care one way or another and you're just presenting what's there. Pretend you're Sargeant Friday -- "Just the facts, ma'am." thumb|left|Be like us!
  • Info from both sides is welcomed, and required for a good article regarding a political issue such as this one.
  • Respect the other guy, try to find a middle ground when in doubt about wording.
  • Notability is a fine line, so be careful including links or references to just anything when you're in doubt.

I can start an rfc if you'd like. karmafist 00:51, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Proponents general argument

They argue further that union leaders are more likely to abuse their power, both for union matters and for external political purposes, if they are permitted to require membership dues from all employees whether they want union membership or not.

I believe this sentance should be either removed, or modified to somehow remove implication that the statements-within-statements are facts. While this is clearly (suprising to me!) something that they argue, it is not a quote from the proponent side. I don't think it does the proponent side justice either, as it just reads like a pretty bogus argument. Some specific issues:

  • What does "abuse" mean?
I would read it as any union activity outside of weekend coctail parties, because it is coming from the mouth of the anti-union crowd. But others may read it differently.... Either way, it doesn't tell you much.
  • Seperating "Union matters" and "external political purposes" ..Huh?
What is the difference between the two? Is putting pressure on employers, government, society, "external" or "union" or...?
  • "forcibly procure membership..whether they want union membership or not." ...Baseless propaganda argument!
Workers vote to join/create unions, vote to leave unions. I am positive the United States has strict rules governing that.
  • "forcibly procure"
Might as well just change it to extort! (: Unions require membership.

Anyhow, thanks for hearing me out, I think doing something about this will be more fair to both sides on the table, and make wikipedia a better reference site.--sansvoix 05:52, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

Thank you for continuing to discuss. I think we can reach an agreement that leaves us both quite satsified. It sounds like your have two issues with how I described the argument: 1) it's unclear 2) it's propgandish/slanted. I think we can definitely make it clearer and, while it may have to be inherently slanted because it is an argument used by one side or another, let's see if it can be improved more to your liking. I'll start by acting on your suggestion to replace the phrase "forcibly procure" as it is unecessarily controversial. :-) Lawyer2b 13:43, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Lawyer2b-- There's a further problem with the "external political purposes" argument. Even if you accept a bifurcation of "union matters" and "external political purposes", I'm sure you're aware that any member of a bargaining unit, even in non-right-to-work states, has the right under Federal Law to make a Beck objection, refuse union membership even if a union security provision exists in the collective bargaining agreement, and will only be required to pay dues specifically relating to collective bargaining and union administration, not "external political purposes". Furthermore, only a small portion of union dues go to "external political purposes", mostly through union staff time spent on political activity, since, again, according to Federal Law, all union campaign contributions must come from a separate PAC and union dues (except for voluntary assesments specifically for that purpose) cannot be funneled to that PAC.

Removed this little tidbit that used to be here because it was so mind numbindly retarded it made me wish I lacked the ability to read.

___Are you kidding? You actually published something with this sentence in a public forum??? "so mind numbindly retarded it made me wish I lacked the ability to read." I don't think I can adequately explain how offended and disgusted I am by this sentence. Let's just go ahead and use some racial or gender slurs next. There is a whole civil rights lesson here but let's just agree to leave those citizens who are not able to defend themselves out of your sick vocabulary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Steve4067 (talkcontribs) 04:51, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Please don't remove discussion items just because of your particular political bias. And apparently the anti-unionists continue to "poison the well" on the "Arguments Against" section of the article. I have deleted the following portion--

(Note that the author of this study does concede that his adjustments for cost of living were at best questionable[citation needed]: “Estimates from this… regression model [controlling for cost of living] are suspect given the lack of an established series for controlling for regional, interstate, or intra-state costs of living.” For a critique of this study please see external link "Effects of Right to Work Laws on Employees, Unions and Businesses" below.)

This should be in the "Arguments For" section. Lay out the arguments, studies and sources and let them speak for themselves. There is no reason to have a seemingly bilateral debate in an "Arguments Against" section. The only reason I can see for such a schizophrenic approach to editing an encyclopedia article is for the author to inject his or her biases even in a section of the article devoted to laying out arguments the author specifically disputes.


Can somebody please source this comment? It seems to violate NPOV. In RTW States: "There is less money for public services and the quality of life is lower for the majority. When you drive through right to work states you notice the roads, buildings and housing for the lowest earning part of the population is of lower quality." -- 22:51, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Guam's "right to work law"

I included information on Guam's "right to work" law under the Criticism Section because of its provision that's been especially criticized by people on both sides of the political spectrum. You'll see how Guam's law differs from what's presented as the norm for right to work laws in this article. Guam's law does appear very different and one-sided. This law serves as an example of how unfair right to work laws can be if not properly and objectively constructed and worded.Jlujan69 21:32, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

NPOV Dispute

The reason that I have the link up on this site is to show another site that is against unions. I feel that it should be up on the site so that people can see their point of view. If you have it removed you should have all the pro union articles removed also since this is a right to work site. John R G 09:25, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of links. Unlike the other pro-right-to-work sites which continue to be listed, the site you keep adding back is merely polemical, contributing no information whatsoever to the discussion. --Orange Mike 13:34, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
  • The article that I am talking about is * Union Free America and I feel that it is very important to have if you remove it you will have to remove all the pro union sites also. The site I have put up tells about having a union free america and it is one of the subjects that I feel needs to be put here. John R G 19:10, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
This issue is at the heart of the whole idea about Wikipedia, and actually all encyclopedias. The public media, newspapers, etc. try to make people "mad enough to.." do whatever the media wants you to do at the time. The idea of Wikipedia/encyclopedias is to get people to think - to use our forebrains rather than our hindbrains. A real easy criteria for whether something belongs here or not is "does the article make me mad (and not think because I am being busy being mad) or whether it makes me stop and think. Most popular media tries to make people mad and is almost eliminated from usability on controversial issues here for that very reason. Student7 19:36, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
To John R G, i respond — personally, i'd prefer to have a union-freefree America. But i'm not trying to spam Wikipedia with ideological links over it. Please start following the rules, and try to make Wikipedia better, not a link farm for opposing ideological arguments that have nothing whatsoever to do with an encyclopedia. Richard Myers 19:51, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
And by contrast I personally would like to see every working person on this planet represented by a democratic union, the only even remotely reliable guarantor of workers' freedoms. But I agree with Richard that the link in question has no place in an encyclopedic environment. That's the joy of working in genuine cooperation: agreeing across the divides!--Orange Mike 20:35, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Sorry Mike, i was being too clever. I think we're probably in complete agreement on this issue. best wishes, Richard Myers 22:03, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Question about RtW laws, union shops, etc.

I have been reading the entries about union shop, right-to-work law, etc. and I still have a doubt:

If, in a state without a right-to-work law, the workers in a workplace vote for joining an union, these means that these workplace automatically becomes an union-shop or only means that the union-shop can be negotiated (or not)between the union and the employer?

In other words - in states without right-to-work laws, all unionized workplaces are union-shops, or they can be union-shops or open-shops, dependig of the agreement established between the company and the union?

I think that the articles (at least, one of them) should explain these point (specially to foregneirs - like me - who have curiosity in knowing the american laboiur law).-- 23:13, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

The answer to your question is complex and requires an extended article. Simply stated; If the majority of a class of employees votes to be represented by the union, then the union is certified as the bargaining agent for all persons in jobs in that class. Non-union employees are covered by the collective bargaining agreement, but are not required to join the union. Only Union members have voice or vote on the terms of the agreement. Unions protect themselves with either "primacy" (first hire) agreement clauses, or "exclusivity" (hiring hall) clauses. The first case requires the employer to hire qualified union members first. In the second case, the employer agrees to hire all employees through a union hiring hall. In right to work states, the union hiring hall must list both union and non-union workers who are qualified for the job.

«Unions protect themselves with either "primacy" (first hire) agreement clauses, or "exclusivity" (hiring hall) clauses»

Basically, what I am asking is if (in states without Right-to-work laws) the employer can refuse to accept these clauses in the agreement.-- 23:12, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

In U.S. law, it is a subject of bargaining, and like all such one side or the other may win; an employer may attempt to refuse anything. (The third method of protection, incidentally, is mandatory membership. The employer is not restricted as to whom they can hire; but new hires must either join the union or pay the per-capita costs of representation ("agency fee" roughly equal to union dues) to the union. --Orange Mike 16:25, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Removed from article

This appears to be original research:

"Right to work laws can also be argued against on the basis of free market principles. If a union, without benefit of government power or influence backing it up, is able to negotiate an agreement that requires union membership of employees, this would be a private matter, not legitimately subject to interference from the government in a fully free market. It would be a matter of a "seller" (union) making union membership of labor part of the "market price" for its "goods" (the labor of its membership). The "buyer" (business) can accept the deal, attempt a different negotiation, or would be free to seek labor elsewhere. So long as neither union nor business has government weighing in on its side, this would be a fully free market transaction. A right to work law would limit the free market forces operating on negotiating the price of labor, effectively putting some portion of the coercive power of government at the disposal of the business in a manner not available to the union. Proponents of right to work laws might counter that unions, like all cartels, are not viable without the support of the state, and thus are not free market actors. While right to work laws interfere with private contracts, they do so by limiting existing government interference."

If you wish to salvage this content, please provide a reliable source. Best, MoodyGroove 17:32, 13 November 2007 (UTC)MoodyGroove

      • Because the first and last sentence of the paragraph are flawed the entire paragraph had to be removed: “If a union, without benefit of government power or influence backing it up, is able to negotiate an agreement that requires union membership of employees, this would be a private matter, not legitimately subject to interference from the government in a fully free market… proponents would claim that while right to work laws interfere with private contracts, they do so by limiting existing government interference implicit in the very existence of the union itself. However, since labor unions were created and are maintained without government guidance or subsidy, these claims are dubious.” The fundamental problem with this argument is that UNIONS ARE GIVEN SPECIAL POWER TO REPRESENT ALL WORKERS IF MORE THAN 50% OF THE CURRENT WORKERS VOTE FOR THE UNION. THIS IS NOT A FREE MARKET CONCEPT. This means if the store currently has 10 workers, and 6 vote for the union and 4 vote against, the workplace becomes unionionzed and the employer MUST negotiate with the union period. In a free market, the 6 employees could threaten to quit (and perhaps would) but the four remaining employees could continue to work there, and the employer would be free to hire any new employees willing to work to replace the six that quit. The concept of a union is inherently NOT free market. And yes there is a citation to a "libertarian" page which is not relevant and does not support this assertion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:24, 27 December 2007 (UTC)


This article has an NPOV tag, but I haven't seen any action on it since April. It looks fairly NPOV to me... is there any reason why the NPOV tag needs to still be here? — PyTom (talk) 04:27, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Removed from article

With regard to:
The poorest county in the United States, Buffalo County, South Dakota, is in a right to work state.
The wealthiest community in the United States, Rancho Santa Fe, California, is in a state that does not have a right to work law.

This appears to be original research and the implied argument is a synthesis. It's also a logical fallacy. It's equivalent to saying, "John has cancer and he drinks milk. Jane does not have cancer and she does not drink milk."

It's not enough to provide the reference for the fact. You have to provide a reference that ties the fact to arguments against right to work legislation. Best, MoodyGroove (talk) 17:33, 2 January 2008 (UTC)MoodyGroove

Cause and effect

One of the reasons that it would be "nice" to have scholarly references in this article instead of political ones is that separation of cause and effect might become more evident.

Rich states can afford more socialism, union shops, etc. Poor states cnnnot afford these luxuries. There is nobody to fund them. If industry is threatened in poorer states, they move elsewhere. Yes, industry moves in rich states, too, but they are moving away from a skilled labor force which may give them pause. Poorer states may not have that abundance of skilled labor. Poorer states also tend to be rural. Farmers rarely exhude prosperity in dollar terms. You really can kill the golden goose in a poorer state. It may stay alive awhile in a richer state.

But right-to-work doesn't "cause" poverty, and union shop doesn't "cause" luxury.

Pretty much what MoodyGroove was saying above. Student7 (talk) 14:58, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Grass roots

An editor keeps trying to insert the claim that a RTW organization has been criticized for calling itself grass roots when it was not. But 1) There is no indication that anyone other than the editor trying to insert it has called them that. 2) The organization harps on "grass-roots lobbying," quite different from claiming that it is financed from the grass roots. a quote is given which was an offhand remark. Even if it did support the claim, it would simply be an offhand remark and not something deliberately claimed by the organization. Why stretch the truth? Can't we just present the facts here? Why aren't the real facts good enough to support whatever POV the editor has? Why invent?

I'm not engaging in bad faith editing, and I didn't invent anything. It may have been an off-hand comment, but it was from the president of the NRTWC. Furthermore, I'm not inventing controversy. Here is a FAQ from the UAW that proves the NRTWC and NRTWLDF are criticized for portraying themselves as fighting for the little guy when in fact they are financed by big business. Here are some additional G-hits. Incidentally, it's well known that the John M. Olin Foundation financed right wing think-tanks, but we could just as easily call them conservative if you don't like right wing. MoodyGroove (talk) 02:47, 4 February 2008 (UTC)MoodyGroove
While I didn't change it, a reference is given supporting calling the Olin Foundatin "right-wing." For starters, I would distrust any source that calls anybody right or left wing. That is not scholarly nor informative. It is merely provocative, which it is intended to be. They are "playing to a base" and not trying for scholarly achievement at all. I don't think that source should be allowed in Wikipedia. I'm not so confident about this that I would ask for it to be blacklisted at this point, but certainly not cited generally in highly charged political articles, which this is. Student7 (talk) 02:21, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
The words "right-wing" is only levied against positions that the speaker does not hold, usually reflecting media bias when you see it in the press. The words "left-wing" (while we are on the subject) pretty much the same. Maybe Fox uses it though I have never heard the media use that term. Usually in email or on webpages. In any case, a label reflecting bias on the speakers part. While information from those sources may be usable in some form, I wouldn't trust them to quote in an article. And why does someone have to be labeled anyway? To what purpose would I call you "a supporter of left-wing causes." What good would that serve other than to reflect my bias, and having nothing to do with you in fact. Why is it important that Olin be labeled? There is nothing wrong with divulging the sources of money for an organization, but why can't the reader make up his own mind? Why must we make it up for them? To my way of thinking that is POV and maybe OR. It is also contrary to the philosophy of Wikipedia which desires to present the facts, and only the known facts, to the reader who is conducting the research. Student7 (talk) 13:03, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't know, Student7. It seems to me that it's important to identify the political leanings of advocacy groups, especially when they manipulate politics. I don't think it has anything to do with my political bias. If you check the talk page of the Project for the New American Century article, you'll see that I did my best to fight off left wing bias there. I also worked hard to fight off right wing bias at the 1993 Clinton health care plan article. I'm not into labeling for the sake of labeling, but it's a fact that the PNAC and the American Enterprise Institute are neoconservative think-tanks, for example. It's not POV pushing to call a spade a spade, at least not in my mind. At any rate, I've shown that the criticisms of the NRTWC are not the original research of this editor, so I would appreciate it if you'd strike that comment from the embedded text. MoodyGroove (talk) 14:39, 4 February 2008 (UTC)MoodyGroove
These labels change with the times but if the article were classic, it wouldn't need to change at all. I think that Carter was a left-winger. I help maintain his article (usually against crazies of all stripes) but would vigorously protest the label of "left-wing" in there. Having said that, if you can't label Carter a left-winger, who can you? These labels are pejoratives. Let the gentle reader select the pejorative! Our job, IMO, is to report. If the person (or institution) has labeled itself left- or right-, fine. That's unlikely. Sometimes unions have been used by the Mafia (gangsters). While I would be amused by someone calling a union "gangster-ridden" in an otherwise logical article, I would hardly support that label in wikipeida use (with maybe one exception that does not apply to this article). That is not a label the union wants. If it were appropriate (I don't think it is here. I'm not threatening!), I could document a unions association with people of a certain type and report prosecutions if germane. But I don't need to label. The same with Olin. Their other support can be revealed in their article or in a footnote if they have no article. "Conservative" may be okay if they report themselves that way. But it's not an insult, per se.
In a similiar vein, we call legitimate organizations what they name themselves such as "Women's Right to Choose," and not "Pro-Abortion."Student7 (talk) 15:59, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
I understand the spirit of what you're saying, but keep in mind this was tied to the statement "critics point out" so it's not like the Wikipedia was doing the labeling. Regardless, it could be perceived as a weasel phrase, and a reference was requested, so how about "critics from organized labor like the UAW argue that..." MoodyGroove (talk) 17:53, 4 February 2008 (UTC)MoodyGroove
I amended the section with specific references for specific criticisms. MoodyGroove (talk) 18:13, 4 February 2008 (UTC)MoodyGroove
Haven't looked at your changes. I guess just "a critic" with a footnote should do it. Maybe more than one footnote for "critics." I agree that the UAW has standing to be doing the name-calling (identified by the footnote). Student7 (talk) 22:14, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Right of Assembly?

There have been attempts lately to correct the slant of right-to-work preventing "Right of Assembly." If there were a real issue here (which should be referenced by a court decision BTW) the courts have long since decided that this did not violate the "Right of Assembly." Of course, employees from work can assemble all they want. This is true throughout the US. While there are valid issues that need to be discussed here, this one is frivolous and a non issue. The real issue is whether this "rightfully" assembled body can "rightfully" speak for all employees. But this is true of any politically or economically assembled group, not just a union!Student7 (talk) 10:46, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Freedom of assembly is an inalienable right. Arguments against right-to-work laws support the right of a group of individuals to make exclusive contracts with another group of individuals, just as a business may make with a supplier of raw materials. Inherently Right to Work law makes a category of such contracts illegal - those that require contributions to the group engaging in collective bargining. Since these contracts are necessary for a union to meaningfully assemble, removing the right to participate in these contracts effectively nullifies the ground on which freedom of assembly operates. Without tangible rights to engage in contracts and covenants collectively there is no freedom of assembly. In order for freedom of assembly to be meaningful it must include fundamental rights to engage in covenants and contracts both collectively and individually. The advancement of Right-to-work laws and the failure of the courts to recognize the severe limitation on freedom these laws impose on citizens is an unfortunate corrosion of human rights in the United States as well as elsewhere. (talk) 04:37, 1 August 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:22, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Find someone notable saying that, and figure out how to boil down what they say for the article. Make sure the words aren't coming out of your mouth, but theirs, "John L. Lewis said...". A court case would of course be best, but given the context a significant politician or labor leader or academic might be good enough. Without that, these assertions don't belong. Cretog8 (talk) 05:01, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Arguments against

I am pro-Right to Work.

I adjusted the section "Arguments against" to put the stuff I thought was logical and nearly irrefutable at the top. I would like to comment (and get some comments) on the next paragraph, picking on the first sentence about Chambers of Commerce favoring. By itself (sentence intro could be improved) this tends to be a fallacy. Guild by association or something.

Having said that, it seems to me that the sentence cannot be removed. Some people oppose it because they accept the logical fallacy. That is fine for this article if it is footnoted. The sentence could be improved by saying "some people suspect that the involvement of the C-of-C means that they can't be trusted or what they are saying can't be trusted (or is it the other way around. The trouble with fallacies!). In other words, if Bill Gates and Wall Street made an argument, it should be judged on the merits of the argument, not on the basis of who made it. I think they are saying here, that since the C-of-C favored right-to-work, therefore, anything further they say is suspect. While I agree with that (!  :), it is still a fallacious argument on its surface!  :)

We probably run into this sort of thing all the time in various arguments where emotions run high. Nor am I always on God's side here. I may want to quote or cite a fallacious argument or two myself!!! My question is basically, how do you handle an argument that is fallacious that is really supported by adherents/opposition? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:21, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

I have not been involved in the discussions about this article, but am happy to comment. I believe that Arguments against should include arguments that are actually used against. I further believe you haven't persuaded me, or perhaps many of the people who are against, that there is any fallacy in the argument.
Consider also, persuasion is an emotional as well as logical endeavor. If there is an emotional dimension to an argument, that does not in any sense devalue, nor does it falsify that argument. When it comes to arguing, effectiveness is an important criteria by which to judge. Consider that in a debating class, a student learns to take either side of a particular argument, and is still expected to try to win. Remember also, Wikipedia isn't about truth, it is about verifiability.
My personal view is that the arguments against were stronger before the change. The free rider issue is not nearly so easy to understand, especially for folks who are not in a union, nor is it nearly so compelling. I would advise that the change be reverted, not as criticism of the effort to improve the section, but just on the basis that this particular change is not an improvement. best wishes, Richard Myers (talk) 19:43, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
I've said all I could! Revert away!  :) Student7 (talk) 22:42, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, let us see if someone else wishes to weigh in. The content is still there, just in a different order, so there's no great urgency, IMO. cheers, Richard Myers (talk) 01:24, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

I think the focus on the right-wing groups in this article weakens the "Arguments against" section. Perhaps the article should focus on the arguments that are germane to the topic at hand. Mingr1 (talk) 14:53, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps the paragraph "Unfortunately, it is difficult to analyze right-to-work laws by comparing states. This because there are other differences between states that are strongly associated with right-to-work laws.[5] For instance, states with RTW laws have other pro-business laws, which makes it difficult to determine the effect of any single law.[5] In effect, Holmes argues this type of analysis is not possible." should be removed from it's current Arguments For section and start off as the beginning of the Arguments Against section, thus serving as a rebuttal of the immediate previous point made in the previous section. Then the Arguments Against section would have something to flesh out with the non-germane material regarding opponents' characterizations of "Right to Work" proponents being removed. I think the debate of who supports and does not support a type of argument doesn't necessarily make the argument more or less credible, but this section should focus solely on the political and philosophical arguments over the "Right to Work" issue.Mingr1 (talk) 21:51, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Maybe it should read something like this: Arguments for Proponents of right-to-work laws point to the Constitutional right to freedom of association, as well as the common-law principle of private ownership of property. They argue that workers should be free both to join unions and to refrain from joining unions, and for this reason often refer to non-right-to-work states as "forced-union" states.[2] They contend that it is wrong for unions to be able to agree with employers to include clauses in their union contracts (also known as "union security clauses") which require all employees to either join the union, or pay union dues as a condition of employment.[3] Furthermore, they contend that in certain cases forced union dues are used to support political causes, causes which many union members may oppose.[4] A March 3, 2008 editorial in The Wall Street Journal compared Ohio to Texas and examined why "Texas is prospering while Ohio lags". According to the editorial, during the previous decade, while Ohio lost 10,400 jobs, Texas gained 1,615,000 new jobs. The article cites several reasons for the economic expansion in Texas, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the absence of a state income tax, and right-to-work laws.[6] Arguments against Unfortunately, it is difficult to analyze right-to-work laws by comparing states. This because there are other differences between states that are strongly associated with right-to-work laws.[5] For instance, states with RTW laws have other pro-business laws, which makes it difficult to determine the effect of any single law.[5] Opponents argue right-to-work laws create a free-rider problem, in which non-union employees (who are bound by the terms of the union contract even though they are not members of the union) benefit from collective bargaining without paying union dues.[7] For these reasons, they often refer to right-to-work states as "right-to-work-for-less" states[8] or "right-to-fire" states, and "non-right-to-work" states as "free collective bargaining" states. Opponents further argue that because unions are weakened by these laws, wages are lowered and worker safety and health is endangered. They cite statistics from the United States Department of Labor showing, for example, that in 2003 the rate of workplace fatalities per 100,000 workers was highest in right-to-work states.[16]Mingr1 (talk) 19:15, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Arguments for

Added a few citations to right-to-work proponents arguments. Also, changed sentence to say "unions to be able to agree with employers" instead of "unions to be able to force employers" and added citation. Mingr1 (talk) 18:58, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

08/25/2009 I moved some "arguments for" which were CRITICAL of pro-RTW law evidence to the end of the arguments against section, and revised the wording somewhat. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:55, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

You might want to checkout WP:SOAP. The idea is to have an article that explains what good sources say, not to argue for one side and then the other. This format is not particularly conducive to that, so I would rather just have a evidence for and against all wrapped up in one section because I think that is much more in line with WP:NPOV. PDBailey (talk) 19:17, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
I reduced a prior paragraph down to what I had assumed were essentials. That was "States with 'right-to-work' laws that make union organizing more difficult had twice the job growth of Ohio and other forced union states from 1995–2005."<ref>[ National Institute for Labor Relations], Accessed October 4, 2008.</ref>
Anyway, someone first tried to change the words inside of it. Since it was a quote, that was not a good idea anyway, whether you agreed with it or not.
The way the article is going, it is not a matter of "persuading" one side or the other to believe in our arguments. It is simply to lay out arguments for or against Right-to-Work. One editor deleted the above because it had not demonstrated correlation, seldom attempted and almost never proven in political arguments.
This was a bit frivolous IMO. States with right to work obviously are going to attract more new business. Their wages are often lower because they are lower cost-of-living states. States with union shop count on population density to sustain them - there are a lot of people, businesses will want to be there, therefore we can charge anything we want to. You can't have that philosophy in the rural area of Montana. There is always another alternative there. "Correlation" is farcial. Anyway, we are talking a lot of states here. The relationship is hardly non-causal for those numbers and time (one decade), even if the editor doesn't find common sense appealing. Student7 (talk) 12:23, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Student7, there is no good reason to have sections that layout the arguments for and against, this is an encyclopedia, not a soap box. I think these two sections need to be combined into one on current thought on the right to work law so that it is less about what people say and more about what can be reliably stated (which is sadly, not much).
Would you like to help me write the one section at another space that we could propose? PDBailey (talk) 18:06, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Most people writing on this topic hold an opinion one way or another. There are few "neutrals." We can select WP:RELY references and discard the remainder. What I had done was respond to a comment that the original item contained pov comments. I agreed and removed that part of it. I was not responsible for the original quote. If you are saying that states with right-to-work laws did not experience a major uptick in jobs in the decade ending 2005, that would be a good reason to discard it. But not that you don't care for the remark or that it "doesn't correlate".
Right now, one of us is real close to WP:3RR. I hope it is you!  :) Student7 (talk) 22:16, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Quote from internet: "The National Right-to-Work Committee publishes a compilation of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing growth in private-sector employment in RTW states (+17.7 percent) twice that of non-RTW states (+8.6 percent) between 1997 and 2007." boldfacing mine. I guess you are saying that someone else other than than an advocacy group compiles these identical figures from the same place, it would be allowed? I don't think we are talking rocket science here. The figures are taken from federal public information in somebody's spreadsheet. You are saying, "Yes. But look who owns the spreadsheet!" I would think that the figures themselves can and should be questioned. I don't blame you for wanting to shoot the spreadsheet owner! Facts can be unpleasant sometimes.
The figures rather speak for themselves. And yes, maybe if the murder rate was double in states where ice cream consumption was double, someone really ought to look into it. Student7 (talk) 20:05, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
What if the murder rate were twice as high in right to work states, would that be germane to the topic at hand? The point is that it implies causation where there is none. PDBailey (talk) 19:16, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
So you would need a statistical correlation which may indicate (or counter-indicate) causality? You'd think someone would have done one, but haven't seen it. Student7 (talk) 22:35, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Assessment scale

This article should be classed as "Mid" on the Importance scale. First, it lacks globalization. Germany, for example, has a right-to-work law (as that term is used in the U.S.) recognized by the courts. In a number of countries, the constitution guarantees a "right to work" that not only attempts to guarantee the right to be employed but also acts as a significant restriction on union activity. Second, right-to-work laws in the United States are only a subset of federal labor law. Taft-Hartley should be rated "High"; RTW laws should be mid. Third, right-to-work laws are state-level laws not pre-empted by federal law. Just because 22 states have acted in an area where federal law does not pre-empt does not raise that issue to "High" Importance. Third, under the scale and given the state of the article's depth, breadth, citation status, and NPOV issues, the article can't be considered "major" but rather "general". - Tim1965 (talk) 14:19, 5 September 2009 (UTC)


I've requested a citation on "For these reasons, they often refer to right-to-work states as "right-to-fire" states, and "non-right-to-work" states as "free collective bargaining" states."

If this were really true, why is it so difficult to find a citation for it. Instead, the editor claims it is "common knowledge" often a refuge for someone who is making the information up.

For starters, not everyone reading this is a US citizen, even if it were "common knowledge." Student7 (talk) 00:16, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Here is one possible source:
Opponents of right-to-work argue that the laws create a free-rider problem in which non-union employees benefit from collective bargaining without paying union dues. They also contend that outlawing compulsory union dues makes union activities less sustainable and it is more difficult for unions to organize and less attractive for people to join a union. For these reasons, right-to-work states are referred to as "right-to-fire" states.
The Effect of Endogenous Right-to-Work Laws on Business and Economic Conditions in the United States: A Multivariate Approach, Electronic copy available at:
Richard Myers (talk)
Here are about 5,000 options for the other appellation. These are all PDFs, so no fear of a Wikipedia mirror site:
Richard Myers (talk) 04:05, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

WSJ Texas/Ohio citation

'A March 3, 2008 editorial in The Wall Street Journal compared Ohio to Texas and examined why "Texas is prospering while Ohio lags". According to the editorial, during the previous decade, while Ohio lost 10,400 jobs, Texas gained 1,615,000 new jobs. The article cites several reasons for the economic expansion in Texas, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the absence of a state income tax, and right-to-work laws.'

Really? How about because Texas ranks first in the US for population growth and Ohio ranks last? Now, I could see an argument for people moving to Texas because of work opportunities (and possibly because of right to work), but just citing job numbers and not normalizing those job numbers to population is a horrible form of argumentation. This editorial sounds like an incredibly weak argument no matter where it was published, and doesn't an "editorial" = "opinion". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:17, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Not sure about what you are saying here. More people are moving to Texas while people are moving out of Ohio? And that is not attributable to any of the above? Ohio is the 7th largest state by population. At one time, I suspect, it was larger in population than Texas. It has water, a vital resource, which Texas does not. Area means nothing here. So how did Texas become larger than Ohio? Student7 (talk) 21:17, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
1. Oil.
2. More powerful legislative delegation, obsessively focused on favorable tax structure nurturing the "awl bidness" (as Molly used to say) rather than passing the Taft-Hartley act and the like. --Orange Mike | Talk 14:53, 25 February 2011 (UTC)


We could very well use the structuralist/marxist perspective too perhaps? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:43, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Correlating anything to right-to-work or not

One of the statistical problems is correlating anything to a binary event. It's almost meaningless. So if I say that unionized states all have longer longevities than right to work, I haven't really proved anything. Correlation is not causation.

As opposed to (say) raising the speed limit. I can correlate the maximum speed with a highway fatality rate, and, given enough differences in max rates, and enough jurisdictions, actually arrive at a "probability" that "increased speeds cause increased n deaths." Still not a fact, but a little more provable, depending on the probability statistic. And unlike the previous bunch of facts, I think they can actually test the reverse proposition: that increased fatalities cause higher speeds. I know, it sounds stupid, and is in this case. But not for right to work. For example, in a real statistical comparison, they might prove (or disprove) that high unemployment caused right-to-work laws. Quite the reverse from what it's proponents/opponents are saying. Can't do that easily/credibly to binary events though.

So adding that right to workers are ranked better looking, or have more money, or less money, or are taller, or whatever, than states with no right to work, is not terrifically helpful nor useful!  :)

Maybe a before and after in the same state might be useful. Might. Always biased observations, of course. Student7 (talk) 03:18, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Libertarian "capitalist"?

Is there a reason why this section is called Libertarian "capitalist"? Most libertarians I know (including myself) don't really have any desire to defend a capitalist system and instead choose to argue in favor of simply "free markets". Using the term "capitalist" almost makes it seem like Libertarians are beholden to the banking system. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:59, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Doesn't make sense

"We support the right of free persons to associate or not associate in labor unions, and an employer should have the right to recognize or refuse to recognize a union."

The above Libertarian quote is being used to cite as an example, Libertarians opposing Right to work laws. But it says that one should have the right whether they choose to join or not. So then that is false. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:05, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

I agree on your interpretation of one part - the quote says that Libertarians think that people should be able to join a union. But the quote also says that Libertarians believe that employers can spurn that union! This is not true in states without the right to work. In those states, employers have legal obligations to formal unions. They cannot spurn them. It is that "small point" that makes all the difference between right to work and lack of same. So IMO, the quote is okay. Student7 (talk) 13:52, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
The quote seems typical of American libertarianism. American libertarianism is different, in my experience, from (for example) European libertarianism, so that complicates the issues somewhat.
From a progressive point of view, the statement is suspect because it leaves an existing imbalance intact by ignoring some very significant realities. Among these are, (1) the ability of employers to combine is entirely unfettered, and that reality is not in any way in question in most existing economies; (2) corporations routinely go on strike whenever they choose, and some do so on a daily basis, that is, they withdraw their capital from one enterprise to put it into another, without regard to loss of jobs as a result; and, (3) the whole idea that the existing form of capitalism privatizes profits while socializing expenses, via local tax incentives, stadium levies, and a number of other mechanisms. These realities make any belief in equality of capital and labor seem entirely unreasonable, to the progressive point of view. Not sure if this discussion is directly helping with the article, but there are sources for all the above, if someone wishes to search them out. Richard Myers (talk) 14:19, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Questions & Suggetions From A Non-US User

As someone who came to this article to find out what Right-to-work means, I found some aspects of the article particularly confusing and unclear. I think it's important to not lose sight of the fact that those of us who are not familiar with the issues surrounding these laws (which, from the talk page, I gather are controversial) might require a more back-to-basics approach, which means spelling out what may seem either trivial or common knowledge to those who are editing this article, as well as editing out bits for the sake of clarity.

Using the first paragraph/sentence as an example:

1. Why is "enforced in twenty-two U.S. states, mostly in the southern or western U.S." part of the initial introduction to the subject?

Is the number of US States currently enforcing these statutes, and where most of them are located, part of what "right-to-work" means? If not, then I suggest this information should be moved to a less obtrusive location than the middle of a paragraph-long introductory sentence.

1a. The same question applies to the mention of these laws being "allowed under provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act."

I would imagine, though I am, as stated, not knowledgeable on the subject, that any law is allowed to exist as a consequence of some other laws, acts, Constitutional provisions, precedents, etc., so singling out one specific aspect of the chain of legislation that leads to any specific law seems, at this initial stage of the article, to be confusing rather than enlightening.

2. What value does "which would require the workplace to be a closed shop" add to the paragraph/article?

I followed the link to the "closed shop" page, and as far as I can tell, it means exactly what was already explained (union-employer agreements that require all workers to be members of the union), and if that's the case, then it doesn't serve to clarify or add additional information, while creating unnecessary confusion. If that's not the case, then further editing is necessary.

I would suggest these bits be cut out, leaving the following as the introductory sentence:

"Right-to-work laws are statutes which prohibit agreements between labor unions and employers that make membership, payment of union dues, or fees a condition of employment, either before or after hiring."

Is there any reason why this shouldn't be the sentence that initially introduces users to the subject?

If the bits that were cut out should remain in the initial paragraph, for whatever reason, then a second sentence could be added, like so:

These statutes are enforced in twenty-two U.S. states, mostly in the southern or western U.S., and are allowed under provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act.

To this second sentence, I would add something along the lines of "which states that..." or "which prohibits..." or "which allows..." if I knew enough about the Taft-Hartley Act to summarize it in such a way.

I will be happy to go over the rest of the article and try to suggest ways to make it more useful to those who want to learn about the subject without having prior knowledge, if this sort of feedback is welcome. Fuzzyshark (talk) 09:26, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your objective criticism. Lead changes look okay to me. I would suggest discussing other changes here. This has been a highly contentious article. The material herein infuriates nearly everyone in the US, regardless of which side you are on!  :)
I added "federal" to Taft-Hartley. The reasons that the federal government had to permit this are too complex for the lead and I really don't understand exactly why either. T-H basically allow states to pass laws to allow workers not to be forced to join unions. It prohibits "certain" union activities as well.
Western and Southern states are well-known within the US for being generally conservative and pro-business. I agree that it does need explanation here instead of an assumption.
You might insert "American" or "US" in the lead. While technically, "Right to work" could be universal, it is unlikely that other countries would use the same terminology and originate from the same federal-state structure. Student7 (talk) 13:34, 5 November 2011 (UTC)


Wouldn't Right-to-work law / Right-to-work laws be a better title? -- stewacide 02:40, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

  • The current policy is to use singular nouns unless the subject of the article is always plural, i.e. "economics". Deltabeignet 01:28, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Which states have these laws at this time? - Bevo 23:17, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

MAJOR ISSUE The entire title and substance of this page needs to be changed. Right-to-work and unions have nothing to do with one another. Right-to-work is the opposite of employment-at-will. Open-shop is the opposite of closed-shop. Open and closed shop states are a completely separate issue from right-to-work and employment-at-will.

Right-to-work means that everybody in the state that meets employment requirements has a right to work. This also means that you cannot be fired without reason by your employer. Employment-at-will means neither of these is true. Some of the states listed on this page are flat out wrong on this issue. Indiana IS a right-to-work state. Arizona is NOT, it is employment-at-will.

That doesn't make any sense. Indiana is NOT a right-to-work state (we ARE, however, an at-will state); our dutiful representatives are working on contentious legislation to try and become a right-to-work state right now.[1] Also, to say that unions and right-to-work are completely separate seems incorrect, as unions get deeply involved in this issue, since their dues CAN be drastically affected. Wikipedia editors, expect this page to get hotter as that debate heats up in January '12. (talk) 04:32, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Economic Information

Could someone please clarify the economic information somewhat? As it stands now, the actual implications of the data are about as clear as mud. The following few sentences are in particular need of elucidation, cuz as they stand now their meanings are somewhat ambiguous:

"Also according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, while a larger "growth" was experienced in the "right-to-work" states, overall real personal income remained higher in the "union-shop" states."

"Also according to the U.S. Census Bureau, while a larger "growth" was experienced in the "right-to-work" states, overall the number of those privately insured remained higher in the "union-shop" states."

"Also according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, while a larger "growth" was experienced in the "right-to-work" states, overall production remained higher in the "union-shop" states."

As well, can someone add a note explaining defining terms like "real personal income", or a link to a page that already has them? I mean, I'm a physicist, I could tell you the orbital period of hydrogen's electron off of the top of my head, and I have no idea what the hell crap like that really implies. Is it adjusted for inflation? The price of consumer goods? What? 10:47, 3 December 2006 (UTC)Tel

I don't have a reference, but I strongly suspect that there is little difference in real wages between the two areas. Higher take home in union shop states, but higher costs of living offset that along with higher taxes. If I pay you $10 hour more and then figure out how to get my salary raised by the same amount, what has happened? Zero sum game. Economically, the only way to increase real wages is to either have the supposed poorer states give money to the union shop states or get it from abroad. The latter can't happen because the rust belt/union shop states export jobs. The supposed poorer states can't support the richer, they'd run out of money. I think that this is a shell and pea game. Ultimately, the union shop people retire to the right to work states which have a lower cost of living and trade down their very expensive small house for a much newer and larger and less expensive one in the right to work state. The reverse doesn't happen! Student7 16:11, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Household income in the U.S. by state
North Carolina $39,000
Rank: 40/50
+/- national average: (-$5,473)
Change 1999 - 2005 (inflation adjusted): (-11.3%)
South Carolina $39,326
Rank: 39/50
+/- national average: (-$5,147)
Change 1999 - 2005 (inflation adjusted): (-9.5%)
The cost of living in the southern states is climbing rapidly, particularly in coastal areas, but inflation adjusted income is falling. The idea that "right-to-work" laws are good for the American worker are ridiculous, especially with out-of-control illegal immigration interfering with free market forces that make wages for unskilled workers go up. MoodyGroove 16:23, 24 July 2007 (UTC)MoodyGroove

I've added a section on income inequality in the south versus the northeast, which I think adds some useful information. But frankly, this whole section seems to me to suffer from the fallacy that correlation implies causation. Mrrhum 14:29, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Maybe so, but it certainly flies in the face of the argument that "right-to-work" laws are good for the American worker. Where is the non-ideological evidence? MoodyGroove 15:23, 20 August 2007 (UTC)MoodyGroove

Economic information Edits- First let me say that I agree with Mrrhum that this section does suffer from issues of correlation vs. causation. This "issue" or "disclaimer", "correlation does not equal causation" should be, in my opinion, stated in the article.
(1) Removed inaccurate and, not surprisingly, unsupported fact: “U.S. Department of Commerce, while a larger growth was experienced in the "right-to-work" states, overall real personal income remained higher in the "union-shop" states.[citation needed]
(2) Removed paragraph relating to income inequality. Sorry Mrrhum. I don't mean to be rude, but as it is currently written I don't believe it works. Perhaps it can return if it is re-written to include ALL RTW states vs. ALL non-RTW states and it does not make the simplistic comparison between the Northeast and South. (Just comparing the Northeast to the South is a crude comparison because if you look at the right to work state map (on the main page) you'll see that Right to Work Laws also have a significant presence out West.) Moreover, given our country’s sad legacy with slavery and the civil war, there has always been (well before RTW laws existed) significant income inequality differences between the Northeast and Southern states (and I would speculate that this gap has, if anything, narrowed since states adopted RTW laws). To imply that Right to work laws are in some way responsible for this inequality is misleading. Now if one finds data showing that after states adopt RTW laws income inequality increases, that would be useful and relevant data.

Shouldn't statistics comparing right-to-work states to union-shop states cover the entire time Taft-Hartley has been in effect (1948-present)? I think it is misleading using just a few years slice of time to justify any point. Anyway the statistics are misleading regardless, saying that one item has x% growth and another y% growth, but not giving any measure of comparison. This is the same technique which leads Welsh Nationalists to say that Welsh is the fastest growing European language because the number of people in Wales who speak Welsh has gone up 25% (from 1/5 to 1/4 of the population) even though the actual number of people who speak English or Spanish or German has far exceeded the new speakers of Welsh. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:21, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

You've wounded me, sir, removing my addition. But, you have a point, I'll confess that I was just too lazy to work out the statistics more carefully, and the Old South and Northeast simply provided convenient blocks of states that were easy to compare. My motivation was to provide some balance to what seems to me to be the selective and tendentious use of statistics in this section. At this point, I'd like to see either:
(1) The entire section jettisoned, or
(2) the section integrated into the "arguments against" section (which seems inappropriate, as it would then be original research).
Mrrhum 04:31, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Response to Guam's "right to work law"

I removed the text discussed above from the "criticism section" because the information is inaccurate and one sided. In MOST RIGHT TO WORK STATES: "unions must represent all "eligible" employees regardless of membership status." This is not unique to Guam. Hence the "free-rider problem".... Moreover, in right to work states in general, unions cannot exact any fee on non-union members. Moreover, there is no citation for this statement: "This section of the law has been criticized even by those who normally support right-to-work laws." The link provided is only to the Guam law, and does not support this statement. The section below does not belong on this page.

What was in the section: In the U.S. Territory of Guam, a right-to-work law not only stipulates that it's unlawful to require union membership as a condition of employment or to retain employment, but goes further by saying that unions must represent all "eligible" employees regardless of membership status. Furthermore, the unions are not allowed to exact any fee from those who don't want to pay. Effectively, a union is compelled by law to represent a non-member equally with a member, but cannot impose any fee upon them. This section of the law has been criticized even by those who normally support right-to-work laws. (in particular, refer to sections 4101, 4103, 4106, and 4107)

Answer to "Question about RtW laws, union shops, etc."

Short answer: the "union security" clause needs to be negotiated between the employer & the union, and is part of the union contract. Simply achieving representation does not automatically establish the union-membership or fee-payment requirement.

Logical Fallacy

I am removing the part where it says that right to work states have higher death rates in the workplace than others because it is completely irrelevant to a proper argument (seeCorrelation does not imply causation). If anyone else sees this logical fallacy played out elesewhere in wikipedia, it should also probably be deleted. Pjbeierle (talk) 05:28, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Causation and correlation

Agree with the above. Let's face it. Politics aside, states with "Right to Work" generally have a lower economic system, lower taxes, lower cost of living. They tend to be "more rural," higher unemployment, etc. Their idea is to stimulate business by encouraging it, even to attracting businesses to relocate from other states.

States without Right to Work tend to have a higher level of economy, higher wages, higher taxes, higher density of traffic, no enthusiasm for "attracting new businesses" because it just means more traffic, higher prices for housing, even higher cost of living, etc. If some company moves out (as long as it's not your company) great! Less traffic! Just the reverse of the Right to Work states.

But one did not cause the other factors. They are all together as a set.

One might prove otherwise, but stating the above factors together without decent research from WP:RS sources, is WP:OR and WP:SYNTH. This would also include "death rates" or any other factor. All need proper research to establish cause and affect.

Student7 (talk) 01:03, 6 December 2011 (UTC)


I rm a statement that said "right to work states" were often called "right to work for less states." This tends to be rant. It is from a union tract. It would be nice if this were true from the antis pov. But it is not reported by a reliable source and should not be used. It would be nice to raise the level of any controversial article above the level of rant. Rant is great for tv 5-second blurbs. It looks lousy in an encyclopedia. Student7 (talk) 13:52, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

I restored it, as the statement is clearly labelled as to source; and is where it belongs, among the arguments of opponents of such laws. This is not a violation of WP:NPOV. --Orange Mike | Talk 14:38, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Political Rhetoric?

I have some concern that the article has become Non-NPOV or possibly politically slanted, possibly in an attempt to give the appearance of equal representation to the "Arguments against" section. While the section "Arguments for" seems to be based on a discussion of facts, the "Arguments against" section seems to be based on union dogma. The following statements though properly referenced are just restatements that labor unions have written papers against right-to-work.

"The AFL/CIO union argues that because unions are weakened by these laws, wages are lowered[13] and worker safety and health is endangered."
"Critics from organized labor have argued since the late 1970s[18] that while the National Right to Work Committee purports to engage in grass-roots lobbying on behalf of the "little guy", the National Right-to-Work Committee was formed by a group of southern businessmen with the express purpose of fighting unions, and that they "added a few workers for the purpose of public relations".[19]"
"The unions also contend that the National Right-to-Work Legal Defense Foundation has received millions of dollars in grants from foundations controlled by major U.S. industrialists like the New York-based Olin Foundation, Inc., which grew out of a family manufacturing business,[19][20][21] and other groups.[18]"

While the statement "It is against federal law to use union dues money to fund political action. Any money used for political action must come from a separate PAC fund that members must opt into." is factual, but has no bearing pro or con to the right-to-work issue.

It seems that the section would be more factully oriented, impartially and concisely written as follows:

Opponents argue against right-to-work laws with the following reasoning.
1) Right-to-work laws create a free-rider problem,[11][12]
2) The AFL/CIO union argues that because unions are weakened by these laws, wages are lowered[13] and worker safety and health is endangered.
3) Business interests led by the Chamber of Commerce lobbied extensively for right-to-work legislation in the Southern states.[11][15][16][17] Critics argue that this is evidence of conspiracy to undermine union bargaining power.
4) The unions also contend that the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is politically motivated to decrease union strength.
For these reasons, the union refers to right-to-work states as "right to work for less" states[14] or "right-to-fire" states, and to non-right-to-work states as "free collective bargaining" states.

jhnsn957 04:27, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

More credible IMO. Better arguments. As it turns out, the less pov there is, the better the article for both sides. Inspires both sides to be more objective. Again, IMO. Not entirely sure about "Right to work for less." Seems more of a rant, BUT, it is what the union says. Student7 (talk) 16:42, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Disagree. First of all, nothing wrong with POV being expressed in a section called opponents. Second, it's debatable as to whether or not the section on business interests led by the COC belongs in the opponent section at all. That's fact and it's backed up with solid scholarly references. Adding the modified "critics argue" doesn't apply when the references aren't critics at all. Right wingers are allowed their own opinion (which, by the way, allowing the Hayek rant is really not NPVO when other scholarly quotes have been removed) but they aren't not entitled to make academic research from universities look like union propaganda. There's no debate as to how right to work legislation was promulgated and what the lobbyists hoped to achieve if you look at the academic research. So no, this would not be an appropriate change. It's a deliberate attempt to discredit solid research. MoodyGroove (talk) 13:32, 26 January 2012 (UTC)MoodyGroove

Update for Indiana and the US map is needed.

The Indiana Senate has voted 28 to 22 to approve the right-to-work bill that has prompted the legislative boycotts by House Democrats. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Quinsattorney (talkcontribs) 02:13, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Hold yer horses. Rostz (talk) 03:43, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

WSJ resources (talk) 21:19, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Cost of living

One statement in article: "..the average full-time, full-year worker in an RTW state makes about $1,500 less annually than a similar worker in a non-RTW state." I don't think that this is disputed or disputable. What is disputed is the average cost-of-living in a non-RTW state! It is usually noticeably higher.

BTW, anything under 10% is usually not noticed by anyone. This is a human "law", if you will. So if costs or whatever are 9% more in New York than Pensylvania, this will not be noticed by the average shopper. If it is 11%, it will be. decibels and all that goes with the measurement. Student7 (talk) 13:59, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Point to note here. It appears that in the supporting documents that show pay is higher in non-RTW states than in RTW states the pay that is being compared is gross pay not take-home (net pay). Since the typical union deduction from a workers paycheck is between 2% and 3%, the average difference in net pay between non-RTW states and RTW staes may actually be smaller.

jhnsn957 14:37, 28 January 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Edit request on 1 February 2012

There are now 23 states that are RTW. Gov Mitch Daniels signed Indiana's RTW law about 30 min ago. Please update the page and the graphics. Thanks!!

Kingjustin (talk) 20:48, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Has a reliable source reported when it will take affect? Dru of Id (talk) 21:16, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Found this (March 14, 2012). Evidently we have some time... Dru of Id (talk) 21:26, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
No, that's out of date. The law has been enacted and takes effect immediately according to the NYT. Rostz (talk) 21:32, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Already done Celestra (talk) 06:23, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 1 February 2012

add indiana to the rtw states. (talk) 23:59, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Not done: Duplicate of request above. Celestra (talk) 06:20, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Misleading Title

Why are we using one side's rhetoric for the title? Isn't that letting them dictate the discussion? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:36, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

What would you suggest? Most news outlets refer to these as "right-to-work laws". Is there a truly neutral description of these laws? If so, we will still need redirects from "right-to-work law" for searching.--Lyonscc (talk) 19:08, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
Even though the term is a classic Big Lie, nonetheless this is the term in common use in the English language, and to create a redirect just because it is a lie would be an NPOV violation.
I wasn't suggesting that we change it - I was just asking what he/she thought it should be named. And even whether or not it is a Big Lie could be debated, but the common term is "Right-to-Work Law", and absent a truly neutral and recognized term, the article title should probably stay as it currently is.--Lyonscc (talk) 12:53, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Request for clarification: "did not violate any of the employer's rules"

In the statement that an employee "could also be fired even if the employee did not violate any of the employer's rules.", which rules are the employer's and which one aren't? If the employer has agreed to a contract, then wouldn't that contract would be part of the employer's rules? For example, if a supplier's contract states that an employee can't disclose information that the supplier gave in confidence, and that employee discloses and is sacked, were they sacked because of the supplier's rules or the employer's? Also, are there states that impose limits on the contacts employers can make with suppliers and such, or does this sort of restriction only apply to labour relations? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:56, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Good question. We need to be clear here on Taft-Hartley/right to work/union contract vs At-will employment. I think we may need a finer interpretation here in order to distinguish; indeed, if they are distinguishable. "At-will.." probably needs to mentioned in here, if only as an aside. Does anyone have an answer? Student7 (talk) 21:33, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Dubious reference(s)

I noticed this reference: Campbell, Simon. "Right-to-Work vs Forced Unionism" links to a site that does not seem very authoritative. The "company" that runs the site has only a president, no employees and appears to be the work of a parent whose children were affected by a teacher strike:(ref)Campbell, Simon. "About Us". Retrieved 14 November 2012. (endref)

Simon is a public school parent of three children in the Pennsbury school district, Bucks County. Simon's children were among the 11,500 children forced out of school during the 21-day Pennsbury teacher strike in November 2005. The average Pennsbury teacher salary at the time of the strike ranked #8 out of 501 school districts in Pennsylvania (top 2%).

My question is does this reference fall under the category of WP:BLOGS? If so, obviously it would need to be removed/replaced with an authoritative source. — Safety Cap (talk) 19:44, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

I agree with the material! Which wasn't your question. It doesn't appear WP:RS. Certainly not "refereed"! Surely a more reliable source can be found which says essentially the same thing (if the article doesn't already do so) without the biased cartoons! Student7 (talk) 21:02, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

Article contains uncited analysis(original research ?)

In the comparisons section, the last sentence says "Adjusting pay for these regional cost differences results in higher real buying power in most of the right-to-work states." with three citations. Apart from the editorial tone of the wording, the three references are all materials that could be used to support the assertion, but no where make the assertion themselves. This sentence should be removed or appropriate references cited.

Frankly, a lot of the article reads as if a particular stance is being supported, rather than reporting the content of existing external analyses. OriEri (talk) 20:52, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Inaccurate wage comparisons for right to work/non right to work states

I must inform you that although your wage information (hourly/annual salary) MAY be accurate, the overall wage is NOT included in that finding.

I am a union carpenter with a wage of $29.41 in a NON right-to-work state. I have been through about 6 1/2 years of on and off-the-job training- most of which was paid for by my union and that has been funded by the dues that each member pays while working (instructors must earn a wage and training centers cost money to build and keep running). In ADDITION to my wage, I receive additional benefits to cover healthcare for my family and retirement benefits.

In states that are NOW right-to-work, the employees DO NOT have to pay union dues, but the unions are disappearing. Those employees are now making about $20/hour. They ALSO have to pay for their own insurance and 401k out of THEIR WAGES! This means their take-home pay is SIGNIFICANTLY lower.

Right-to-work is a scam. It means that your company or organization- government or not- is now seeing significant profits while the working class families are deceived into thinking they are making almost as much as before. There is a lot more to the wage on the check if benefits are not included or are in addition to salary. Non-union workers do not realize their families full potentials if they think they are doing better than the union workers who are getting "robbed" by paying dues. Trust me- we're not. I provide a very good life for my children.

<self></self> (talk) 21:28, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

Does have a point about including health care and pension as part of wages. For example, the controversial bailout of General Motors included and average $200/hour of wages, benefits, pensions (I assume with COLA). The worker did not see these as "wages". Student7 (talk) 21:34, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

The comparison chart is worthless since it does not factor in cost of living. Camparing New York and Alabama proves nothing except wikipedia's ability to create useless charts. (talk) 19:09, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

I'm neither for nor against the chart, but the mere fact that data in a chart isn't inflation-adjusted does not make the data "worthless." Financial analysts use unadjusted data all the time; indeed, most data used by most analysts is NOT inflation adjusted. The user would simply take the data and, where needed, apply an inflation adjustment, if desired. An inflation-adjusted chart could be better than one without the adjustments, but that's a separate issue. Famspear (talk) 19:47, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
By the way, I should have said "cost of living" adjustments (COLAs), not "inflation" adjustments, since COLAs are indeed what my fellow editors are talking about. And the cost of living obviously can indeed vary widely from one locale to another. Famspear (talk) 19:57, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

False statement

The sentence "However, this study did not account for unemployment rates, GDP per capita, nor relative costs-of-living in its comparison, which are also considerations in employment studies" under the heading "Studies of economic impact" is false as can be seen by anyone who actually did even a cursory look at the study. Please remove it. Thanks, Furious Style (talk) 20:32, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Fixed. Sepsis II (talk) 23:39, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Add Michigan to the List - 07 December 2012

Amid Union Protests, Michigan GOP Passes Right-to-work Laws; Governor to Sign — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vitacore (talkcontribs) 15:21, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

This might explain why there are currently 51 states accounted for in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tscreen1 (talkcontribs) 21:45, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Still requires a footnote. Law will not become active until 90 days after session end. Maybe April. Let's not be so quick on jumping the gun. This happens in all legislation BTW. Always a reasonable time delay for the law to take affect. Student7 (talk) 20:40, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Article Locked Without Sufficient Justification by ScottyWong

The specious reason of "adding unsourced or poorly sourced content" hardly merits a lock, let alone one for about a month. If people misunderstand what a "law" is or is not they can be and have been corrected. Locking the page over semantics does nothing to engender respect for Wikipedia, our system or our values. It will be seen as a political move by the biased and it should be reversed. (talk) 19:57, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

The article should be locked until the Michigan story blows over. Also, if you have been following the talk section, someone has been editing in false information. In addition, a reported IP has been deleting the entire "Impact on economies" section. There are plenty of reason to lock this thread for at least a month. (talk) 05:43, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Proponents/Opponents/Comparisons - source versus content

"A February 2011 Economic Policy Institute study found[11] that in right-to-work states both the unemployment rate in 2009 and the cost of living were lower." This is true, but perhaps misleading. The difference in unemployment rate - in 2009 of all years! - was 1%. The cost of living difference was 7.767% or 18.078%, depending on the method used, though both were the same direction. Data also showed that average wages were 16% higher in non-RTW states while mean wages were 14.4% higher in non-RTW states, overall. Little needs to be said about the increase in wages being reflected by the increase in cost of living.

While the Opponents portion mentions the wage difference to some extent, judging from the figures quoted here and in the Calculations section, it seems misleading. The Calculations section reflects considerably different numbers than the source. Neither may be in error, I do not know as of this date. - (talk) 03:10, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

The cost of living is higher because some of the non-RTW states which on the whole are much more urban. Unions or not, the cost of living will be far lower in South Dakota than in New York or California. Most of the states with RTW laws have cheap real estate. Rural states have cheaper infrastructure (a four-lane expressway in rural South Dakota is built for connecting places outside the state and is far more than necessary for local use, but it is wholly inadequate for northeastern New Jersey) and lower costs of public services. Urban areas have to pay cops well to keep them from becoming tempted to moonlight for gangsters and teachers well enough that they don't use their talents for something more lucrative. Small towns rarely have the high-paying alternatives. The only RTW state with exorbitant real-estate costs are likely Florida, Georgia (Atlanta), Louisiana (New Orleans), and Virginia. If Hawaii were RTW it would still have exorbitant costs for real estate, infrastructure, motor fuels, and building materials.

The big difference may be whether the value of a a worker's life is higher in an RTW or a non-RTW state. In an RTW state the employer has far more control over workers, can speed up production at any time, and can get away with more shortcuts on workplace safety. Employers have more power to compel workers to take pay cuts when they find themselves in a negotiating advantage. If the cost of living is lower because labor costs are lower, so are the rewards for work. This may not be so in building trades in which unions are the only sources of apprenticeships, but in manufacturing industries, wages can easily go into a downward spiral. Sure, there may be lower unemployment... perhaps because industrial work becomes much less attractive. People can vote with their feet, so to speak, and choose safer occupations (like retail sales clerking) with lesser pay but much lower chance of death or injury on the job. Economic elites (owners, executives, and big land owners) certainly fare better, and workers get low pay and harsher working conditions. People paid badly almost invariably get treated badly in every aspect of life. Pbrower2a (talk) 07:27, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Any reference to the Economic Policy Institute should probably include some balance. According to Wikipedia it is a liberal viewpoint think tank. --RobertGary1 (talk) 21:12, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
"Safety" issues are now addressed nationally by OSHA.
The flip side of rural areas is less stressful living, shorter commutes, less traffic, "green" environment that the cities try to dictate but don't actually possess. Industries are responsive to "supply and demand" issues. If people ask too much, they don't hire them (or fire them). Industries, able to make objective decisions can make a success (temporarily, anyway) out of a flagging business model.
In a non-RTW state, they would have to file for closing or bankruptcy. The union contract, not supply-and-demand, becomes the main issue. And so unionized steel mills close and the business goes overseas, unionized passenger trains, never a big money maker, shut down while Amtrak tries to pretend it still exists. Unionized railroads shut down or go bankrupt, while highways flourish. Unionized airlines are in turmoil. Ships are flagged anyplace but the US, to avoid union issues. Foreign automobiles dominate sales, while the government bails out GM, with $200/hour (including pensions, health, future COLAs). Toyota and Honda don't need to be bailed out. And, the US bails out heavily unionized NYC paying excessive wages, COLAs, etc. And when they retire, where do they live? The lower cost of living states, of course, mostly RTW!
You can't get something for nothing. Somebody has to pay somewhere. Student7 (talk) 19:10, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Supposed quote by AFL-CIO made in 2000

There is a quote about degraded safety and health in the work place not covered by union contract. Maybe the AFL-CIO did make this statement once. Today OSHA covers workers nationwide, regardless of RTW or not. The book is written about a British labour (sic) situation and quotes the American issue somewhat offhand. Probably not a reliable source for that particular quote. Not up-to-date. I'm sure the union has something more credible to say about the modern workplace that is more convincing. Student7 (talk) 22:44, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

Order of arguments

Someone keeps changing the structure of the arguments section (which up until a couple of days ago had been pretty consistent), putting Opposition first and then Support, which is the opposite of normal convention. Including Support first further defines the subject of the article (Right-to-work laws), and then opposition addresses those issues. Basic writing convention, as well.

If there are no objections or logical reasons for doing so, other than apparent POV, I will change it back.--Lyonscc (talk) 18:47, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Agreed. ... Though in reverting Komputerzrkool you added some edits not so commonsensical. --20:56, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Big picture

One thing that doesn't seem to be mentioned is that (like all contracts), union contracts work best when the economy is, more or less, predictable. It works worst when the economy tanks; the employer being forced to pay wages to make widgets or whatever, that can't be sold. Or worse, the government is forced to give increases in wages when taxes revenue has dropped and everyone in a non-union environment either has wages that have plateaued (if they are lucky) or dropped, or the job has disappeared. Similarly, when inflation starts up, the business may be making money hand over fist, but the workers are left high and dry. This gets back to the term of the contract. If long, someone is taking a real risk. Too short, and constant negotiations take up too much time. Some of this may be in another article. Student7 (talk) 19:23, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes, for another article. Also it needs a WP:RS. -BoogaLouie (talk) 20:53, 15 December 2012 (UTC)


I was just wondering when the states with RtW laws passed them (at least the years). JKeck (talk) 04:32, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

A quick look finds of the 24 states with RtW laws, seven of those are incorporated into the state's constitution, either at initial ratification or as an amendment. Information I have so far is: Arizona (Constitution, 1912, State Constitution Article 25), Arkansas (Constitution, 1947, Amendment 34), Florida (Constitution, 1968, Article 2, Section 6), Indiana (2012, state law), Michigan (2012, state law), and Kansas (Constitution, 1958, Article 15, Section 12). Aneah|talk to me 23:35, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

As or more importantly, when and where did these laws appear? They were promoted by someone for a reason and context helps to understand their place and historical relevance. If there is a solid WP:RELIABLE history available (perhaps with sequencing) that would be terrific to include. Rorybowman (talk) 22:57, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 11 December 2012 - in regards to critique of economic impact study

Sorry, first time doing this:

In the section "studies of economic impact" on this page, there is a sentence that reads:

"However, this study did not account for unemployment rates, GDP per capita, nor relative costs-of-living in its comparison, which are also considerations in employment studies[citation needed]."

With no current citation. This is demonstrably false by going to the source of the report in question. Tables A2 and A3 clearly show that state cost of living and state unemployment were independent variables used in the regression.

Nfinio (talk) 21:06, 11 December 2012 (UTC)Nick

Why not delete the sentence if it is clearly false? Someone reading the article without going to the source document is going to be convinced that those variables weren't controlled for. I did, until I looked at the source document. It is obvious to any econometrician that those variables should be included as controls, but someone with no knowlege of regressions might think that the [citation needed] is in regards to the claim that those variables are considerations for employment studies. (talk) 22:06, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

The quality of life in Connecticut is better than Oklahoma. Both have about the same population. One has collective bargaining, the other one does not. --JLAmidei (talk) 23:28, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Fixed. Sepsis II (talk) 23:39, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
"Quality of life" is a subjective notion that is varied in actual interpretations. Collective bargaining may or may not have any sort of impact, perceived or otherwise depending upon factors that are taken into consideration. Aneah|talk to me 00:28, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
Income per capita: Oklahoma $23,094, Connecticut $36,775.
Median income: Oklahoma $43,225, Connecticut $65,753
Here is a great Wikipedia article. Notice how most of the right-to-work states are at the bottom in terms of income.
Here is a great article showing that right-to-work states are on welfare.
--JLAmidei (talk) 03:33, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
Great thanks! Because I thought that the calculator at was telling me that making $50,000/year in Oklahoma City would have to translate into $68,434 in Hartford, Connecticut to maintain my standard of living. But in the same perspective, the salary difference indicates that employers in Hartford are only willing to pay me $56,737. So basically, my cost of living increases 36.9% while my pay only increases 13.5%. This leaves me with losing $11,697/year in income changes based on moving to Hartford.
Oh, and how about those unemployment rates? I know in OK, it is only 5.3%, but in CT, it is 9.0%. Also, coinciding with that is according to this CNBC slide show Titled the Biggest Welfare States lists 14 entries. Of those 14, only three of them are RtW. If I read the article information correctly, then the article was done in 2010, which is before Indiana and Michigan became RtW. Aneah|talk to me 05:02, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
The truth is Connecticut is subsidizing Oklahoma. You can't spin that.--JLAmidei (talk) 05:43, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
Remember that correlation does not imply causation. We should not attempt to misinform the reader otherwise. --RobertGary1 (talk) 21:09, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
I have to drive and buy gas in Connecticut occasionally. I would do both in Oklahoma cheerfully but it's a bit out of my way! Student7 (talk) 19:51, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Editor is correct about CT subsidizing OK, which is part of the irony here. 1) CT gets higher wages resulting in higher taxes, besides the "other" drawbacks. 2) For another article, CT does not really want people from nearby rural areas moving into CT "enmasse" as it were, clogging infrastructure (and attempting to compete for low paying jobs) even more, and therefore "bribes" them to stay put, more or less. Politicians never state it quite like that, of course. Student7 (talk) 20:40, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Taft-Hartley act section

The section on the Taft-Hartley act is confusing, informing the reader that closed shops are illegal but not making it clear that agency shops are legal under Taft-Hartley. The impression is given that agency shops are similar to closed shops and thus similarly illegal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:17, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

I agree with the above. The article states that "[t]he union shop rule... is also illegal", but that "the Taft–Hartley Act goes further and authorizes individual states... to outlaw the union shop...." Why would a state need to outlaw something that's already illegal? Musicjunkie701 (talk) 19:36, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Just as a reference, here is the quote from the Taft-Hartley Act article: "Union shops were heavily restricted, and states were allowed to pass right-to-work laws that outlawed closed union shops." Aneah|talk to me 23:04, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Unemployment Data Unsupported

I dont' know whether the unemployment data in the article is correct, but it is not supported by its citation. The citation merely lists the unemployment rate for each state in the union, but doesn't list the size of the workforce in each state, so it is impossible to come up with an aggregate unemployment rate from that source. (talk) 06:25, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

It also appears to imply some sort of causation which isn't at all supported by the reference. The causation is pure speculation on the part of the author. --RobertGary1 (talk) 21:21, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
It seems pretty clear to me that an editor added up the numbers themself. We call this "original research", and it's disallowed per Wikipedia policy: WP:OR Until somebody can cough up a source making the comparison, that section has to go. Belchfire-TALK 14:51, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Simple mathematics, using only data from a reliable source, is not Original Researchor synthesis, but rather, summarization of reliable data. To wit, we could add two tables with the BLS data from 50 states in it and summarize the bottom line numbers in each table without running afoul of WP:NOR. Very little, if any, social research truly shows causation in any topic. Even so, reporting facts along with relevant commentary from Reliable Sources on the various sides of an issue is common practice in Wikipedia. Politifact has used simple-averaged BLS data in showing the same results as the more recent BLS data in the WP article. Reporting the average and any caveats seems more reasonable than hiding it simply because the appearance of the data is inconvenient to one's POV.--Lyonscc (talk) 02:09, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
The statement in the article can't be derived purely from BLS data and in fact is not actually found in the BLS data. You have to use another source to determine which states to add together. That's synthesis. And it isn't just simple mathematics; it requires making judgment calls and interpretation. For instance, why use figures from May 2011 instead of some other date?
As I said before, if a RS has already done this work, we can look at it for inclusion, but Wikipedia editors can't be slicing and dicing data like this. Belchfire-TALK 05:24, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Well, we could use one of these: [1] or Media Matters [2] (a left-wing outfit, which used a weighted average (as suggested above), finding that RTW states unemployment rates were 0.2% below the national average, or Heritage [3] (a right-wing outfit, which published similar findings); or Politifact [4] (a center-left publication from the WaPo)--Lyonscc (talk) 06:15, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

A True Definition

“I am opposed to “right to work” legislation because it does nothing for working people, but instead gives employers the right to exploit labor.” – Eleanor Roosevelt So, what is “Right to Work”? First of all “Right to Work” is a very misleading statement, because “Right to Work” laws weaken the rights of workers, union and non-union, and strengthen the power of corporations. So, a better label for such legislation would be pro-corporate laws, not “Right to Work”; which states an untruth. Proponents of pro-corporate law (Right to Work) target pro-worker organizations, who allocate resources to promote rights of union and non-union workers.

References Roosevelt, E. (1959). Why I am opposed to ‘right to work’ laws. American Federationist, 5-7. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cmcdonaldlocal311 (talkcontribs) 16:15, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

You know that, Brother or Sister; and I know that. But by the "neutral point-of-view" rules under which Wikipedia can function, we can't be that blunt and honest in an article, because your opinion and mine are not neutral. All we can do is make sure that the scholarship exposing the fraud which is so-called "right-to-work" is properly cited within this article. --Orange Mike | Talk 16:24, 7 January 2013 (UTC) (President, AFSCME Local 91; on his morning break)

quotation attributed to Hayek

The long quotation attributed to Hayek has link out to a nonexistent article in the Washington Examiner. Hayek certainly would have supported the Open Shop, but since the quote is unattributed and unnecessarily long, I think it should be cut. Maybe the contributor has a better source? But in any case it should be shorter. Toby Higbie (talk) 22:57, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Pointed omission of population benefited by employment rate increase

"In 2009, the unemployment rate was 8.6% in the RTW states; 9.6% in the non-RTW states."

The bullet points before this point out the population that would "suffer" in some fashion because of RTW, but it does not show a number for this bullet point, which is a benefit, and a whole percentage point of unemployment; that is not insignificant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:56, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Correlation is not causation. I assume that the editor(s) meant to show, rather, that there was not much difference between employment rates. To do otherwise would require a WP:RS "study" that proves some sort of causation. This is simply an "announcement."
Part of this study would have to demonstrate that the opposite was untrue: that unemployment rates did not cause non-RTW laws. That is probably not true. That is, forced unionization was thought to relieve unemployment. So causation would be a "challenge" to prove mathematically. Student7 (talk) 22:06, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Reverted nonsensical page move

Per WP:COMMONNAME, the name that is commonly used trumps legalist assertions of what an article "should" be title. In my opinion, the truthful name is "right to work for less law"; but the propaganda machines of the corporate press won this battle long ago, and the name in common use is neither that nor "Right to not support a union law" but rather "right-to-work law". --Orange Mike | Talk 19:03, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

Pros and Cons loaded language/attacks

I find the Pros and Cons section quite loaded with political terms and attacks on advocates/opponents. Why can't it be more to the point and focus on the topic?

"Supporters of Right to Work argue that for freedom of association to matter, a person should have the freedom to not associate. Supporters of Right to Work point out that a labor union is the only private organization in America that can force you to accept its representation and pay for that representation as a condition of employment. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has long held that workers do not have to join a union in their workplace, but can still be forced to pay for the union's representation. Right to Work laws state that workers who are not members of a union can also opt out of union dues payments. Right to Work opponents argue that this creates the problem that nonmembers benefit from the union's bargaining efforts while not paying for it (i.e. "free riders") and is thus unfair. Right to Work advocates respond by pointing out that a union does not have to represent all workers in an unionized workplace but instead can negotiate contracts that are for members only.

Right to Work opponents argue that Right to Work weakens workers' ability of collectively organize for better working conditions and wages." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:16, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

Why I restored the description of Rasmussen Reports

See Rasmussen Reports#Criticism --Orange Mike | Talk 20:40, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

This does not establish "right-leaning" or bias as a *fact*, but only as a criticism from other, just as arguably biased sources (though in the opposite direction). Thus, "right-leaning" is a POV (and unneeded) addition.--Lyonscc (talk) 18:14, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
TIME magazine is a pretty darned reliable source for a description like this. --Orange Mike | Talk 18:25, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
The TIME "source" is an opinion piece on a completely different topic (Climategate) behind a paywall, not hard news reported by TIME.--Lyonscc (talk) 19:37, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree that Rasmussen Reports is right-leaning, but I don't think there is adequate sourcing to justify that description on an outside article like this. I also don't think this one poll should be listed in the lead of the article as if it is definitive given the questionable nature of the polling, out of sync with every other state poll on this issue. - Maximusveritas (talk) 06:23, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Nazi Germany

We need to mention the fact that the world's first "right to work" law was passed in Nazi Germany. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:10, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

You offer no evidence of such, and it would clearly be a NPOV attempt to align "right to work" with fascism and Naziism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:25, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
Please note also Godwin's law. Have we reached that point here? Student7 (talk) 17:02, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Right to Work Zones/Counties

In Kentucky, several of its counties have recently passed right-to-work laws, despite the state not having a statewide law (read this and/or this for more information). Additionally, there are proposals in other states, such as Illinois, to create "right-to-work zones" without a statewide law. It remains to be seen what the outcome of the RTW laws in Kentucky, or the other state proposals, will be, but if they are successful, I propose that a separate color-designation (preferably light teal) be added to the Right-to-Work state map showing such states where there are "right-to-work zones" which do not have a statewide law. --1990'sguy (talk) 22:54, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Arguments Opposed > Freedom of contract and association

The last paragraph of this section mentioning Vance Muse and segregationist support for anti-union laws seem completely out of place with not only this section, but also the larger 'Opposed' section itself.

Before I remove it, does anyone want to give a valid reason why it's there? --Adam9389 (talk) 11:03, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

External links modified

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West Virginia

West Virginia recently passed its right-to-work law, which will go into effect on July 1. Why hasn't it been added to the map on this article yet? --1990'sguy (talk) 20:16, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ . News and Tribune Retrieved 29 November 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)