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Thursday, February 2, 2012

The incredibly badly named "Right to Work" laws

Let's get something clear today. The "right to work" is a good thing. The right to work as Wikipedia so eloquenty writes "is the concept that people have a human right to work, or engage in productive employment, and may not be prevented from doing so. The right to work is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law through its inclusion in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, where the right to work emphasizes economic, social and cultural development."
But what the "right to work" is not, it is not even remotely even like the "Right to Work Law" or any Right to Work Law. It is a misnomer--it is badly, even deceptively, named. The "Right to Work Law", as was signed into law yesterday in Indiana, unfortunately is "a statute that prohibits agreements between labor unions and employers that make membership, payment of union dues, or fees a condition of employment, either before or after hiring." See that? Did you read that? The "Right to Work Laws" are laws that take power AWAY from you and I. Don't be confused, folks. I think the average person on the street figures the "Right to Work Law" sounds like a good--maybe even great--thing that we need to support. It is anything but. It is from and by and for the corporations and owners and wealthy to keep you and me from organizing and from having any power in the workplace. It's not good. Far from it. So don't be confused, folks. Don't let the language or title confuse you. The "right to work" is a good thing, sure. A "Right to Work Law" stinks. It's lousy. I don't think most Americans know the distinction. Let's get this word out and keep things clear. Links:;;

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