‘Workers Should Not Have to Pay For the Privilege of Going to Work’
In a recent commentary for the Maine Wire (see the link below), Pine Tree State entrepreneur and citizen activist Matthew Bucklin explains why recent legislative committee votes at the capitol in Augusta blocking floor consideration of two Right to Work measures (L.D. 831 and 786) represent a “squandered opportunity.”
Bucklin cites an array of economic data showing superior wage and job growth over the years in states with Right to Work laws, which prohibit compulsory union dues and fees, by comparison with the rest of the country.
But the fundamental reason Maine should adopt a Right to Work law is simple fairness. As Bucklin puts it, “Workers should not have to pay for the privilege of going to work.”
After all, public policy trusts business owners to decide individually whether or not to join a local business association. Some of the association’s activities may potentially benefit all businesses in the area. But elected officials recognize that the individual business owner is best able to judge whether, on the whole, any given business association deserves his or her financial support. Unfortunately, public policy in Maine currently refuses to grant similar credit to the judgment of each individual worker regarding unionism. That’s wrong, and that’s why a Right to Work law is needed:
Unions have an important job of protecting workers from unfair treatment. If protection is necessary, workers will choose to pay dues. This means the only people who have an incentive to keep forced unionism are union bosses, whose wages are paid by the hard work of employees, and politicians who receive their donations. The legislative committee members should have at least given these Right-to-Work bills a fair vote.