Joseph W. Brennan D. S. W., M. Div.
“Right to Work” laws are misleadingly named. They neither support workers rights to equal employment opportunity, nor do enable unions to force workers to join unions. Federal Law requires unions to represent both union and non union workers. As the latter benefit from these negotiations, they should be required to pay for union negotiation services. Right to Work laws (RTW) have been extensively studied by researchers at the Economic Policy Institute, refer to their web page. Gordon Lafer clearly concludes that RTW laws: have no impact on boosting economic growth, nor do they attract employers to particular states, that they lower wages for all workers by an average of $ 1,500 per year, that they decrease worker possibilities of receiving health insurance or pensions, and that they undermine growth by reducing discretionary income. Lafers states that economic variables existing in different states make it impossible to determine whether those factors such as climate, transportation resources, tax policies, population demographics, are not really the predominate variable in affecting economic development. Louisville’s geographic location and its airport facilities, make it a desirable hub for cargo transportation. Kentucky is not an RTW state. Proponents of RTW rely on conclusions from the Mackinac Center which utilizes anecdotal evidence, rather than statistically verifiable data. Poor research leads to poor social policy. Lafer’s research in the EPI web site is a must for legislators and others discussing RTW legislation.