Letter To The Editor: ‘Right-to-Work’ Legislation Not Good For New Mexico

By EDWARD BIRNBAUM
Los Alamos

First, Right to Work (RTW) legislation is misnamed. It should really be called “right-to-a-free ride”, or RFR, because under RFR, non-union workers will still receive all the wages and benefits granted under a union contract WITHOUT paying union dues. If pollsters asked if this is oaky, I suspect that far fewer people would support RFR legislation.

The second argument is that companies won’t consider moving to states without RFR legislation in place. Although one can find reports that agree or disagree with this assertion, and it is an assertion, not a fact, everyone should be asking themselves why a company would adopt such a policy. It certainly isn’t because they want to help their employees! 

Rather it is because companies in RFR states are less likely to have to bargain with a union, allowing them to keep wages lower, offer fewer benefits, and not worry so much about the safety of their employees.

Whether you call it RTW or RFR, it’s a bad idea if you are interested in the standard of living and safety of New Mexico citizens in the workplace.

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