The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

April 16, 2014

Your View: Free choice

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) regarding right-to-work seems to assume that if workers are given the choice of joining a union, they won’t join. Currently, if you go to work for a company that has a collective bargaining agreement with a union, you must join the union and the company will deduct the dues from your paycheck and give it to the union.

All right-to-work does is give workers the choice to join the union or not. Whatever their choice, the worker will pay the dues directly to the union rather than have it automatically deducted from their pay.

What is so bad about that? If it is in workers’ best interests to join the union, they will join. If they deem it not in their best interests, they won’t. There is no coercion involved.

Opponents to right-to-work groan that it will kill the unions. It does not do that. If workers have free choice in the matter and choose to join the union, the unions will be fine. If they believe it is not in their best interest and enough of them make that choice, then yes, the unions will be in trouble. But that is only because the workers don’t see the union as worth the dues.

Banks must believe workers are not capable of making an informed decision on their own best interests. If you want to assemble cars in St. Louis, you’re not smart enough to decide if the UAW is good for you or not? The state must tell you to join?

As far as her arguments about the overall impact on the state’s economy, she can get her experts and I’ll get mine, and we’ll have opinions differing 180 degrees. But the simple reality is right-to-work states draw more employers than other states. More employers mean more jobs, and more jobs mean the employers must raise wages to attract the best employees.

Right-to-work gives the worker the right to choose. Again I ask, what is so wrong with that?

John Bass

Joplin

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