Saturday, December 7, 2019

Unions Need To Join Forces To Terminate Right To Work Laws.

Right To Work (RTW) laws are bad for workers because it isn’t about having the right to work. It’s about cutting the legs out from under unions and workers' rights. The 28 states that have right-to-work laws on the books is because the GOP and major corporations like Walmart and McDonald's teamed up to make it happen.

Billionaires that wanted to keep workers' rights to a bare minimum are why those 28 states have this horrible law on the books. Idaho isn’t any different. The GOP put it on the ballet in the mid-1980s and then pushed for it hard. They did so because they were looking out for big business and not the average worker.

Advocates for these kinds of laws don’t care about the front-line workers. They care about their profit margins and they care about being able to get rid of anyone that might be a danger to their profits. So anyone that might speak up about the poor pay and the lack of benefits could be fired without cause.


The unions that are in Idaho need to join up. They need to do their version of the superhero team up. They need to work together to overturn Idaho’s right-to-work laws. Voters in Missouri blocked a right-to-work law that the GOP controlled legislature tried to force on them. I think Idaho can do the same by overturning the current right-to-work laws through a vote by the people. Only this time, all of the unions in the state are going to have to team up and pool their resources to make it happen.

According to a 2011 paper by Elise Gould and Heidi Shierholz it’s estimated that “wages in RTW states are 3.2 percent lower on average than wages in non-RTW states, even after controlling for a full set of worker characteristics and state labor market conditions. Gould and Shierholz (2011) also find that workers in RTW states are less likely to have employer-sponsored health insurance and pension coverage.”

You don’t have to look any further than Home Care Agencies in the state of Idaho to see how true that is for workers. In June 2019, an article in the Idaho Statesman showed the stark truth of what it’s like to work for one of these agencies. Although there are some that really care about their providers and the clients they care for. The reality, is that most of these agencies are just in it for the profit.

One example from the article is a provider that stated that her employer gave her no training and hadn’t even been given CPR training. There isn’t any protection for the clients or for the providers that give the care.

By getting rid of the RTW laws that are currently on the books. It would enable workers to more easily unionize and then require employers more comprehensive training. I know my experience with Idaho Home Care Agencies has been pretty much, watch this video, fill out this booklet, and here’s the answer key. It’s one of the reasons I went out and got my CNA.

Again, all of the unions in Idaho have to team up and make this happen. Otherwise, even if Home Care Workers do unionize. It will be from a disadvantage that the agencies can use to keep from doing the right thing. Which is a living wage, affordable health care coverage, and paid time off. It’s time for the unions in the state of Idaho to unite and get the right-to-work laws off the books.

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