Re-introducing the National Right To Work Act in the 115th Congress was something Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) believes not only makes sense, but is paramount to economic growth.
“It is simple -- right to work creates jobs,” Wilson told Palmetto Business Daily. “On average, right to work states have more economic opportunities, increased worker freedom, and lower unemployment.”
Wilson, along with Rep. Steve King (R-IA), introduced the bill this month, seeking to end provisions in federal law that allow labor unions to require all workers to pay union dues, even if a worker does not wish to join the union.
Twenty-eight states have right to work laws, with Missouri being the latest state to adopt the law on Feb. 6.
New Hampshire came close to becoming the 29th state to adopt the law last week, but the House of Representatives rejected the law with a 200-177 vote.
Employees who do not work in right to work states can choose not to to join a workplace union, but are still required to pay at least a portion of the dues if the organization they work for is unionized.
Some states have been hesitant to enact right to work laws because they feel there isn't enough evidence on how it affects labor in states that are right to work.
“Nothing in this legislation prevents people from joining unions or prevents unions from operating,” Wilson said. “It simply makes union membership optional, rather than mandatory.”
Most Americans favor right to work laws, King said in a press release.
“Today, around 80 percent of Americans overwhelmingly believe that every worker and their employer should have the power to negotiate the terms of their employment,” he said. “Unfortunately, when Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act in 1935, this right was taken away from the people and Americans were forced to pay union dues and abide by the union’s rules just to get or keep a job.”
Right to work proposals have been introduced in the past, but this time around there may be a greater chance of passing the legislation due to Republicans controlling Congress and the White House.
Leacy Burke, communications director for the Rep. Wilson, said support for these laws has grown over the years.
“Similar legislation has been introduced in the past, but we believe that this year, the legislation could garner more support than ever before as more and more states choose to pass right to work laws,” Burke said.
Wilson has been a longtime advocate of right to work and the Employee Rights Act in South Carolina and believes every worker should have the right to choose what they feel is best and not be forced to pay dues as a condition of their employment.
“Right-to-work states, like South Carolina, have seen first-hand that job creation and economic growth comes from expanded freedoms,” Wilson said in the statement. “We need to expand common-sense reforms, like those in the National Right to Work Act, to protect American workers and create jobs.”