Unions Right-to-Work

While I have never worked for a company that had a union, I understand the importance of a union for some companies. Unions are necessary to collectively bargain to address failures of management with respect to safety and/or treatment of employees.Companies structured as cooperatives (employee owned), typically do not need a union because the employees are the management.

The term “Right-to-Work” is a misnomer. The National Labor Law unfairly requires unions to represent employees who have opted out of joining the union. If an employee wants the benefit of a union, he should join and support the union. These laws are nothing more than corporations attempting to destroy unions by giving non-union employees a free lunch.

I think working in a company with a union is a lot like paying taxes. I oppose a lot of what our government does, but our tax system does not allow line-item veto so I cannot avoid paying for government actions that I oppose. Similarly, if an employee joins a corporation that has a union, they should be required to be a member of that union.

On the other hand, some unions are not beneficial to society and should be reformed. The recent events triggered by George Floyd’s death have shown a spotlight on the inability of police chiefs to terminate bad cops. Police unions often protect police officers who are not held accountable for bad behavior. Even if they are terminated, the bad cops can move to another area and be employed again as cops. Politicians are unable to reform the system because of the power of police unions. Systemic reform has failed in large part due to the powerful police unions. We need a process that allows chiefs of police to fire bad cops.