All too often the left wants to vilify supporters of Right-to-Work as anti-family and anti-worker. Nothing could be further from the truth and many of us support this issue because we want a state with greater economic prosperity for our families and workers, not less.
I am fortunate to have a good family that has shown me firsthand the positives of working in a union.
Many in my family are highly skilled and could easily build a quality home with just a set of blueprints and materials. They take great pride in their work and have instilled their strong work ethic in the succeeding generation, taught us the importance of taking pride in our work, and always perform to our fullest potential.
Why would I support legislation that would diminish their ability to put food on the table, a roof over their heads, and provide for the needs of their family…my family?
The idea that wages would fall simply because Right-to-Work passed is little more than a scare tactic used by unions to churn frustration among their members and enlist them in their cause. If I were told there was a law that would make me unable to provide for my family I’d be right there in the fight as well. But this isn’t what Right-to-Work does.
It is well known that many employers looking to relocate or expand prioritize Right-to-Work states among their prospective locations. It may not always be the highest priority but it is often a significant factor. Missouri loses out on a number of new jobs before we even have the opportunity to shine.
Many on the left like to trumpet that these businesses want Right-to-Work states because they can pay their employees less. This is not really the case.
Supply and demand dictates a majority of the cost of labor (unless acted upon by an outside force like government). A state has a limited supply of available labor and if a new company moves they will have to lure a number of their employees from the existing labor pool. Who is going to leave their current job for lower pay? Would you?
If the labor needed at the new company is low-skilled labor, they may likely pull from big box retailers or fast food chains, paying new employees more than could be earned “flipping hamburgers”.
If the new company requires high-skilled labor then it will need to pull from the limited pool of highly trained employees in the area. Again, how is this new employer going to lure skilled labor away from their current employment if lower wages are the offer?
Because many in my family are hard-working and skilled union members, I support Right-to-Work. I know that it increases competition for skilled labor. This is the very reason Right-to-Work states have seen an increase in private sector compensation, between 2003 and 2013, nearly doubling non-RTW states (16% vs. 8.7%).
More jobs mean more competition for labor which means higher wages.
I want greater opportunity for my family, not less.