To the editor:
Right to Work laws will have negative consequences for workers.
In states that have Right to Work laws, workers have a lower standard of living. They make an average of $1,500 less per year, and have no health insurance more frequently. In Mississippi, Texas, and Idaho, the effect of Right to Work laws left thousands of workers who had been contributing to their pensions for decades with no pension or retirement security.
The consequences of Right to Work laws in Oklahoma were not at all what the legislators promised. They assured the voters that companies would flock into the state because the law would create more jobs. Ten years later, jobs fell by 25 percent, and the number of companies moving there dropped by 33 percent.
In states like Mississippi, South Carolina and Arkansas, which have Right to Work, workers have lower wages, by an average of 3.2 percent, no benefits and no job security.
The Michigan legislature will soon be debating this legislation. If it passes, this will not support the betterment of workers in the state, and will be another step in the gradual erosion and eventual destruction of the middle class.
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Proponents of this law maintain that jobs are growing in the Right to Work states, and that this will attract jobs. But we've had at least 10 years of testing these claims in various states. Sadly, the results are irrefutable. Right to Work laws do not create jobs, workers will not be attracted to jobs with poor wages, poor benefits, and no retirement security.
I am very concerned about our economic future, and that of my children and grandchildren. This is the time for both Democrats and Republicans to work together, and ensure a more hopeful future for us and our great state of Michigan.