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Republicans Vow to Put Right to Work for Less in State Constitution

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Current law not good enough, says Tillis

Should any worker still think Thom Tillis and the Republican majority in our state legislature are looking out for his or her interests, this puts the lie to that notion.

Speaker Tillis told State Government Radio that his party will push to enshrine North Carolina's right to work for less status in the state constitution. And Tillis doesn't even pretend the move is about protecting workers:

State law already prevents companies from requiring workers to join a union as a condition of employment. But Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, said adding those protections to the constitution would send an important message to the business community.

We think this election is very much going to pit labor interests against business interests and we feel like getting something in the constitution that makes it easier for us to assert that right – should the federal government try to strip us of it – is a good thing.”

There is ZERO threat of Congress repealing the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act which allowed North Carolina and other states to pass their right to work for less laws. But why let reality stop state Republicans from using the amendment to gin up corporate contributions to their 2012 election effort?

Right to Work for Less keeps the Other 99% in their place

So-called right to work laws are designed to undermine any union's ability to enforce collective bargaining agreements by permitting workers covered by contracts to not pay dues. Since unions are required by law to service everyone under the contract - regardless of whether or not they contribute to the enterprise - active, dues-paying members have to cover for free riders.

Who benefits when workers in a union shop are pitted against each other and when unions have fewer resources to negotiate and enforce contracts? The very business interests Thom Tillis seeks to serve with this constitutional amendment!

Unions increase the wages and political power of all workers - not just union members. Right to work means less political clout to fight corporate greed and lower wages for all workers, plain and simple.

Right-to-work for less doesn't guarantee any rights. In fact, by weakening unions and collective bargaining, it destroys the best job security protection that exists: the union contract. Thom Tillis and the Republican majority in our General Assembly know this. Now you know it, too.

But we do agree with Thom Tillis about one thing - the 2012 election (indeed, every election) - will pit the interests of working families against the greed of our corporate masters in the top 1%. We know which side Tillis plays for. Whose side will you be on next year?