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On Labor Day, We Should Get Right to Work

Although Indiana’s Right to Work (RTW) law is in legal limbo right now, a new Gallup poll out just in time for Labor Day reveals some rather in interesting attitudes about RTW; people still like unions but they like RTW more.

RTW is a law that says you cannot be compelled to pay union fees as a condition of your employment.  Supporters like it because they say it gives workers freedom of choice, unions obviously are not big fans. They say it allows individuals to get the benefits of union agreements without having to pay for the representation.

The poll shows while 53% of Americans support unions, 71% favor Right to Work laws.

What’s even more interesting is the breakdown of support by political affiliation.  Seventy-seven percent of Democrats support unions, Independents – 44% and Republicans – 32%.  But when it comes to supporting RTW, Democrats are at 65%, Independents – 77%, Republicans – 74%.

Now obviously the Latin fallacy  Argumentum ad populum (that which is popular is also right) comes to mind for some people, but these poll numbers, to me, clearly indicate that while a slim majority of people like unions, even more like freedom in general and the freedom to choose whether to belong to a union specifically.

I always maintained during Indiana’s Right to Work debate a few years back that if the union is doing its job by providing good representation for its members, it doesn’t have to worry about people paying for the service they will do it willingly.  But when you have to compel someone to pay for your “benefit” maybe it really isn’t all that great to begin with.

Happy Labor Day!!!


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