LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Right to work laws harm the labor class

Right to Work. This is a phrase being discussed today that is separating people out there just as much as the right to choose and the right to bare arms. It is dividing people along party lines and when the dust settles over this issue the ones that suffer the most will be same people that always do,, the working class.

Right to Work is an outlier to an even greater problem in this country and that is the separation of economic classes. The divide between the upper class and lower/middle class is growing greater and greater everyday. And the sad part is, the working class is allowing it.

The upper 1 percent is pumping major money into trying to get a National Right to Work, why? Remember, these people are business men and women. Are they truly doing this to help the working class? Business people are trying to make more money. Period.

The most expensive aspect of a business is labor. The men and women who go to work everyday to support their families. Please ask yourself this, what does Right to Work actually do when you strip it down to its barest essentials? It lowers the wages and benefits of labor and allows the business men and women to increase their own profits.

Are these business people promoting education and training their workers to excel at their craft? Are they promoting good health care plans and family leave acts so their workers can care for their own families, something that provides a peace of mind when families may be going through the most difficult time of their lives.

Are they promoting fair and equal pay for women and minorities? Are they fighting to provide a safe work place for their workers? Are they providing pensions or retirement plans for their workers so they can retire someday and enjoy their remaining days with their families? Are they providing workers’ rights for wrongful termination in the cases of whistleblowers and age discrimination?


These business people are doing none of this because it affects their bottom line in a negative way. Unions fight for these issues. Unions protect the workers’ rights. Less than 11 percent of this country’s work force is union. Right to Work advocates would love to see that number diminish to zero so all those issues unions fight for every day can just be discarded without opposition.

The average annual salary of those workers in Right to Work states has declined by almost $2,000. Why? If Right to Work states are booming with work, why are their employees earning less? It’s because they can cut wages, cut benefits, eliminate overtime, and take what they want from the working class because there is no one there to fight for workers rights.

Never forget this, while we, the working class fight amongst ourselves for the scraps left over at the dinner table, the 1 percent will be sitting back, fat, full and smiling because separated we are week. We are the working class and together we can stay strong and provide a good life for our families and our future.

I am a union member, not because I have to be, but because I choose to be and I will always fight for those working men and women just like me.

Eric Rittenhouse
Business representative
Local No. 5, IUEC

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