The Right to Work laws

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Business ・APA ・3 Sources

Union membership is not required for workers employed in unionized conditions under the Right to Work statutes. Under right to work, an employee has the ability to choose whether or not to participate in union activity without being penalized and still receive the same advantages as union members. The purpose of this article is to analyze the history of the right to work laws, outline the arguments surrounding the dispute, and provide a view on the laws. Lastly, the study will make a forecast about the future of Right-to-Work laws based on the current state of implementation.

History of ‘Right to Work’ Laws

The formation of Unions in colonial, revolutionary and industrial periods of America formed the foundation for the later creation of the right to work laws (Rivenbark, 2013). With industrial evolution, most Americans started doing industrial jobs which facilitated the formation of unions that could cater for the rights of laborers. Union campaigns increased in late 19th century and early 20th century so that by 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt protected the unions by signing into law the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) (Rivenbark, 2013). Under NRLA, workers in industries had the right to self-organization to raise the labor force’s bargaining power. However, after the assent of the law, some Congress members wanted the appeal of some sections of the NLRA act, which introduced the Taft_Hartley Act of 1947 (Rivenbark, 2013). Section 164 of the Taft-Hartley Act added the Right to work Laws that prohibited states from subjecting employees to compulsory union membership. It is important to note that without the rise of trade and labor unions, it is highly plausible that there would be no need for the right to work Laws, hence the need to revisit the history of the formation of unions as well. Within one year after Congress passed the Taft-Hartley Act, 12 states had passed the Right-to-Work Laws with several more enacting legislation later after that. 24 states had enacted the Right-to-Work Laws as of December 2013 (Rivenbark, 2013).

The Debate on ‘Right to Work’ Laws

The right to work laws have received an equal share of support and criticism across the board in the labor market, business, government and political arenas. One of the major arguments of the proponents of the law is the claim that right to work is a fundamental constitutional right ("List of Pros and Cons of Right to Work," 2015). The supporters assert that every citizen has a right to determine who to associate with, in this case, unions, and under what circumstance. For example, except taxes paid to the federal government, in no other way should anyone cut the wages of any employee at any level without their consent and everyone has the right to decide how they spend their money. Thus, a call for mandatory union membership is a violation of employees’ right which is protected by law.
Studies have shown that a state that has enacted the right to work laws exhibit high wages for the workers and stirs competitiveness in the labor market leading to highly skilled labor. For example, according to research by economist Dr. Richard Vedde of the Center of the American Experiment in 2015, Minnesota could be the 10th state with the highest per capita income. However, since Minnesota failed to enact right to work, the state ranks 14th in the per capita income list ("List of Pros and Cons of Right to Work," 2015). Another strong argument by supporters of the right to work law is that unions do not meet the expectations of employees and instead they have become avenues for individuals to loot from the labor force. Unions take a non-refundable substantial fee from an employee so that they can negotiate with the employer on behalf of the employee. However, if the negotiated terms do not satisfy the workers, the worker can look for representation from other unions, a process that may need them to vacate the current job position.
The right to work laws have extensively deconstructed the monopolies formed by unions to frustrate competition in certain levels of industry ("List of Pros and Cons of Right to Work," 2015). Union protected monopolies tend to bully workers in areas without the right to work Laws while at the same time peddling mega corruption linked with the political class. Finally, there is a high employment rate in the states with right to work laws as opposed to other states. According to Dr. Richard Vedde, right to work states shows a 1.4 % higher employment per population ratio than other states. On the side of the opposition, the main disadvantage of the right to work laws is low wages attributed to low bargaining power ("List of Pros and Cons of Right to Work," 2015). For example, since the right to work allows the hiring of non-union workers, there is no collective agreement done by unions on behalf of the employee which can lead to exploitation amounting to low wages and minimal or no benefits. States without the right to work law have relatively higher wages, which benefits both the employer and the workers. The employee gets a better quality of life, and the company gains loyalty, commitment, and high-quality work.
Secondly, there is no protection guarantee for the employees as long as the right to work law is in place. For example, there are rampant cases of unlawful termination where employers hire people at will without the intervention of a union. Legal redress from such matters proves futile as the worker does not have the support of a union and cannot benefit from the safety of being a member of a union in such a scenario ("List of Pros and Cons of Right to Work," 2015). Thirdly, employees under the right to work seem as free riders, and they curtail the freedom of association by limiting the powers of an agreement between two parties. Essentially, when unions advocate for changes in the labor market, those changes also benefit the non-union members who do not pay the duty of fair representation to unions, thus burdening the union members ("List of Pros and Cons of Right to Work," 2015).


While one cannot deny the benefits that accrue to being a member of a union, the right to work laws are ethical in that they provide every citizen the right of choice as with all the other legislations of the land. It is also the finding of this research that there has been a surge of popularity of the right to work laws over the last two decades so that as of 2017, more than half of the states in America are pro right to work (Heinisch, 2017). Under right to work, an employee and an employer can mutually benefit from a workable agreement on the terms of employment and remuneration, which forms a foundation for trust and consent from the onset of employment. Employees may get bargaining power and protection from unions, but they also gain the freedom of choice, association and liberty from union fees by serving under the right to work law. Thus, the benefits of being a member of a union do not outweigh the rights offered by the law, as purported by union sympathizers. The primary party that is disadvantaged by the right to work laws is the union bodies since there are reduced membership, little funding and a loss of union power. The benefits of right to work outweigh the cost of union membership in that there are other bodies and legal frameworks that can do the job of advocating for employee grievances without the requirements of being a compulsory member.

Future of ‘Right to Work’ Laws

This research submits that the popularity of right to work laws will continue across the nation and it is possible that all states will have enacted that law in the future. Research by Gallup shows that as of 2017, 71 % of American openly support right to work laws and 82 % agree that no one should be under obligation to associate with any union or body. Also, 53 % of American are positive towards unions, and 38 % oppose unions. Therefore, the total enactment of right to work laws seems inevitable, but it does not mean that unions will disappear. The changes will depend on changing factors such as politics, legislation and labor policies.
Right to work was necessitated by the growth of unions when certain quotas felt exploited by the laws governing labor bodies. Since the first enactment of the law in 1947, there has been debate regarding the usefulness of the law versus the function of unions. Evidently, most people agree with the stipulations of the 1947 act which has led to more states enacting the law. It is possible that all states will be under the right to work in the future.


Heinisch, B. (2017). The Future of Right to Work. Freedom Works. Retrieved 27 August 2017, from [].
List of Pros and Cons of Right to Work. (2015). Occupy Theory. Retrieved 27 August 2017,from [].
Rivenbark, Z. (2013). History of Unions and Right-to-Work Laws. Jurist. Retrieved 27 August 2017, from [ laws.php].

Get a price
Academic level
Pages *275 words
Total price
$ 0 .00
$ 0 .00

Prices that are easy on your wallet

Our experts are ready to do an excellent job starting at $14.99 per page

What Clients Say About Us
Our Customers Rated UsGreat
Out of 5 Based on 357 Reviews
I experienced difficult times trying to complete huge number of assignments to my university at the same time and you, guys, literally saved me. Everything was done in time and on the highest level! I really appreciate your help.
Essay, History, 12 pages, 7 days, Master's
First time when I placed an order with you, I just lacked time to do all the homework and it was a lot going on in my family. But today I’m doing it sometimes just for fun – I really enjoy communicating with your Customer Support members and just letting myself being a bit lazy
Yuong Lo Mui,
Literature review, IT, 17 pages, 4 days, Master's
My GPA is 4.0 and I’ve always been doing everything myself, but there is a class which I was about to fail thus my GPA would decrease first time in so many years. I ordered few assignments to be completed with and you did a great job! Thanks to you I still remain one of the best students on campus.
Essay, Politics, 8 pages, 5 days, Junior
I am not used to such services and I usually write all the papers by myself. But this time I got in a very difficult situation and had to order my paper on this website. To my surprise it appeared to be quite good. Thank you, it is really nice service. Think I'll get back to you soon!
Thesis, Management, 34 pages, 14 days, Master's
I am on my maternity leave now, so I spend a lot of time at home taking care of my little son. I’ve decided to get one more higher education degree while I’m spending so much time at home and applied for distance learning in one online college. But caring a baby takes even more time then I excepted so I’m the way too busy to write the complicated masters level research works, but is so-so-so cool! Thank you for that you exist! I don’t know what I would do without you all!
Essay, Education, 15 pages, 8 days, Master's
I am studying and working at the same time and it is difficult to cope with university assignments as I am very tired after the work day. You service is a salvation for me as it helps to do everything on time. I am really happy about it. Wish you everything the best! Especially my lovely writer 109!
Coursework, Religion, 11 pages, 7 days, Master's

We at

work according to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which means you have the control over your personal data. All payment transactions go through a secure online payment system, thus your Billing information is not stored, saved or available to the Company in any way. Additionally, we guarantee confidentiality and anonymity all throughout your cooperation with our Company.

Try our service with 15% Discount for your first order!   Try our service with 15% Discount for your first order!   Try our service with 15% Discount for your first order!  

Order Now