Survey 85% Support for Right to Work Freedom in Vermont


From Ethan Allen Institute President Rob Roper commentary published in the Rutland Herald:

Over 85 percent of Vermonters agree that employees should have the right to decide, without force or penalty, whether to join or leave a labor union. That number is slightly higher than the national average of 83 percent, according to new polling released in conjunction with National Employee Freedom Week. (Five hundred Vermonters were polled as part of the study.)

This reflects first and foremost a sense of fairness. We live in a free country, and the freedom to join, not to join, or leave any association or organization without paying a fine or a fee or losing one’s job should be considered a basic, inviolable right. Unfortunately, right-to-work laws, which guarantee workers the right not to join unions as a condition of employment and which prohibit the coercive collection of dues from workers who choose not to join, exist only in 24 states. Vermont isn’t one of them.

… largely younger people, are moving into right-to-work states. “Census data show, for example, that from 2000 to 2009 more than 4.9 million native-born Americans moved from non-RTW to RTW states — an average of more than 1,450 persons per day.”

Consider this: The Shumlin administration announced in June that they would have to cut the fiscal year 2015 budget by $31 million due to declining revenue projections. After that, July revenue came in 1.8 percent below projections, signaling potential further downgrades. Seven years after the recession hit (and five after it has been officially over) Vermont has roughly 2,000 fewer people working than we did in 2007. And how often do we hear the lament that our young people are leaving because of lack of opportunities to stay?

Passing a right-to-work law in Vermont would be a move in the right direction toward alleviating each of these problems. …[click here to read full commentary]