“Right to Work”
Wrong for Wisconsin.
Let’s focus on raising wages, not another distraction.
Right to Work (RTW) is a national campaign designed to limit the power of unions. Fresh from their victories in Michigan and Indiana, the billionaire Koch brothers and the 1% are aiming to make Wisconsin the next right to work state. Governor Walker has not said he will veto right to work legislation and key Republican leaders in the legislature support it. This is an unnecessary distraction from our most pressing need: raising wages and a real jobs program to put people back to work.
“RIGHT TO WORK” IS UNFAIR.
• RTW limits opportunity for all workers by reducing pay and weakening benefits for all workers.
o Median household income is $6,437 less in “right to work states” than in states without these laws.1
o Right to work leads to a 3 percent decrease in hourly wages and decreased benefits for all workers.2
• RTW widens the income gap between the rich and the rest of us.
o Poverty rates are higher in RTW states (15.3 percent overall and 21.5 percent for
children), compared with poverty rates of 13.1 percent overall and 18.1 percent for children in
states without these laws.3
o RTW encourages freeloaders, by allowing workers who benefit from a union contract to pay nothing and take unfair advantage of the system.
“RIGHT TO WORK” IS UNSAFE.
• RTW accelerates cuts to workplace safety programs, triggering more injuries – and deaths – on the job.
o Workplace death is 36% higher in states with RTW laws than states without these laws.4
• RTW leads to lower safety standards like reduced staffing in hospitals and nursing homes,
endangering our community’s most vulnerable citizens and their care providers.
o Puts our everyday heroes and the safety of our families at risk by making it harder to negotiate for life-saving emergency equipment, nurse staffing and shorter response times.
“RIGHT TO WORK” IS WRONG.
• RTW tricks people into believing they will benefit when it does nothing to create jobs and makes bad jobs worse.
o Right to work states have not seen economic growth or job gains. In fact, many have higher unemployment than states that don’t have these laws.5
• RTW attacks workers by dividing them and pitting them against each other just to line the pockets of wealthy CEOs.
• RTW distracts everyone from our most pressing need: a real jobs program to put people back to work.
o In a recent study, Wisconsin ranked 42 out of the 50 states in private-sector job creation, according to the latest available government jobs data.6
1 U.S. Census Bureau, Table H-8. Median Household Income by State, www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/data/historical/household/2010/H08_2010.xls.
2 Economic Policy Institute http://www.epi.org/page/-/old/briefingpapers/BriefingPaper307.pdf#page=6
3 Census Bureau, POV46: Poverty Status by State: 2010, related children under 18, www.census.gov/hhes/www/cpstables/032011/pov/new46_100125_04.htm;
Table 19. Percent of Persons in Poverty, by State: 2008, 2009 and 2010,
4 AFL-CIO, Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, April 2012, www.aflcio.org/Issues/Job-Safety/Death-on-the-Job-Report
5 Economic Policy Institute http://www.epi.org/page/-/BriefingPaper300.pdf#page=5
6 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com/business/state-ranked-42nd-in-job-creation-at-midyear-census-report-shows-3h89vns-186044541.html