False Claims, False Promises: Why “Right to Work” Is Wrong for Everyone
The facts below illustrate why right to work is wrong for workers, businesses, and our economy. (You can also download this fact sheet as a PDF.)
Wrong for workers
- These laws drive down wages for all workers, including non-union members, women, and people of color.
Workers living in right-to-work states earn about $1,500 less per year than workers in states without these laws. The wage penalty is even higher for women and workers of color.
- Workers in right-to-work states are less likely to have health insurance.
The rate of employer-sponsored health insurance for workers in right-to-work states is 2.6 percentage points lower than in states without these restrictions.
- Right to work makes workplaces more dangerous.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of workplace deaths is 52.9 percent higher in right-to-work states.
Wrong for businesses
- Right-to-work laws do not improve business conditions in states.
- Right to work is not a deciding factor in where businesses locate.
- High-tech companies that provide good-paying, American jobs favor states where unions have a strong presence, because unions provide a high-skilled workforce and decrease turnover.
Wrong for the economy
- Communities lose jobs when wages are lowered by right to work.
The Economic Policy Institute estimates that for every $1 million in wage cuts, the local economy sheds six jobs.
- Right to work does not improve the employment rate.
In fact, eight of the 12 states with the highest unemployment rates have right-to-work laws on the books.
- According to a report from Ohio University, these laws actually led to a decrease in employment in certain industries.
Right to work proponents are wrong
- Right-to-work supporters hide behind the claim that right to work protects workers who don’t want to join a union or agree with a union’s politics.
But federal labor law already protects workers who don’t want to join a union or make political contributions.
- Right to work’s true purpose is to hurt the ability of unions to advocate for all workers and serve as a check on corporate greed.