A recent editorial by the Dispatch’s editor supports the proposed “right-to-work” law because “...it’s the idea of being forced to join, versus choosing to join a union that sits crossways with me.” I think one should look further into the consequences of the proposal rather than just rallying behind the sound bites. A union negotiates a wage and benefit package with a company. A new worker decides not to join the union. Now will that worker also not join the negotiated wage and benefit package? I assume that the worker will not go to the company and say, “I don’t accept the negotiated wage package and will work for a lower wage.” The company will certainly not pay this worker a higher wage thereby increasing labor costs. So, the worker accepts the fruits of another’s labor without paying for that labor. This, I believe, fits the definition of freeloader. So, the proposed law should be called the “right-to-freeload.” I detest freeloading. Freeloaders make a mockery of personal responsibility. I also cannot understand how people, who tout personal responsibility, can support laws that encourage freeloading.
Soon, other workers see the advantage of freeloading and opt out of the union. The union eventually collapses. (This is the primary goal of the proposed law.) The company can now set wages without encumbrance. Since labor costs are usually the largest cost of doing business, keeping labor costs below the rate of inflation helps the company remain competitive. The worker, whose action precipitated the demise of the union, experiences wage and benefit packages that do not match inflation and is faced with a declining standard of living. In the end, the worker realizes that the right-to-freeload law was not in the economic interests of workers. The worker supported a law that benefited the company instead.