Brothers and Sisters,
As you surely have heard by now, there is a National push to pass Right to Work Legislation on a Federal Level. We do not anticipate any support of this by our Rhode Island Congressional Delegation however it can never hurt to contact your representatives regardless.
Just to clear up any confusion: Right to Work, which has such a friendly sounding name, is nothing more than a slick way to break Unions.
Everyone already has the Right to Work, which is protected by Federal Law. The real purpose of Right to Work is create a system of freeloading with the ultimate goal of taking away the ability of Unions to bargain on their members behalf for better wages, benefits and conditions.
Imagine you and 9 of your friends go out to dinner. When the bill comes, there is one friend who always seems to have forgotten their wallet. That is the Right to Work Freeloader. The result is everyone pays more for what they ate, so someone can eat the same thing for free. The ultimate irony is the Republican Party are the ones who wish to pass National Right to Work, but they are the same ones who are always speaking out against freeloading of any kind. However when the freeloading can destroy the only defense the worker has against indentured servitude, most of them seem to be just fine with it.
In a Right to Work state or the Federal scenario, the same people are represented by the union as before, however Right to Work allows members to choose if they want to pay dues or not. Dues are like taxes, no one is overly thrilled to pay them, but we are intelligent enough to know that the only way your craft is protected is by people representing you rather than relying on the Government or Bosses to watch out for your best interest. Much like if the average guy had a choice to pay taxes or not, the smart ones would pay understanding that their society would fall into squalor if a portion of the people decided they should enjoy everything, but pay nothing.
Right to Work will someday appear again on the RI General Assembly calendar also, but for now we are safe as far as State Law goes. It is however very important for all members to educate anyone who does not understand the actual facts on Right to Work sooner, rather than later.
According to the AFL-CIO Right to work States have:
$5971.00 lower wages per year
14.8% poverty Rate, 2% higher than non RTW States
54.4% Higher rate of Workplace Fatalities
16.3% of people below 64 are uninsured, 4% higher than non RTW States
Would we expect anything less? Before Unions, the worker had nothing, a reduction in the influence of Unions is clearly designed to send us back to where we began. Please take a few moments to visit this link and then contact your congressman. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/785/all-info Contact your Congressmen here: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
R.I. Unions Gained Representation Of 6,000 New Workers In 2016By SCOTT MACKAY • 16 HOURS AGO
Organized labor has faced tough times in recent years as manufacturing has moved abroad, Republican governors and legislators have gone after public employee unions, and weak labor laws make union organizing more difficult.
But workers in some states, including Rhode Island, still value union representation, as new data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show.
Unions gained about 6,000 workers in Rhode Island in 2016, according to the data. Among the union organizing victories were food services, where the United Food and Commercial Workers organized employees at Eastland Food Service and Summit Nursing Home. The Laborers International Union of North America organized dealers at the Twin River Casino.
As has been the case in other states, medical care workers have been a fertile ground for union organizing. In Rhode Island, the Service Employees International Union organized units at Butler Hospital and at Woman & Infants Hospital. The National Education – Rhode Island is now representing adjunct professors at the Community College of Rhode Island. United Nurses (UNAP) picked up several units at Kent Hospital and Teamsters Local 251 has organized employees at Elmwood Health Center and other venues and UniteHere organized the Renaissance Hotel in Providence after a long organizing drive.
Despite serious barriers to organizing bargaining units, AFL_CIO president George Nee says things are looking up for the union movement.
The federal data shows that the proportion of unionized workers in the Rhode Island workforce grew from 14.2 percent of employees in 2015 to 16.9 percent in 2016.Connecticut has the highest share of workers in unions in New England (18.4 percent), Massachusetts is at 12.9 percent, New Hampshire is at 11 percent, Maine at 13.5 percent and Vermont at 12.9 percent. Nationally, New York has the highest percentage of workers in unions at 25.2 percent of the workforce. Southern states have much lower union enrollment rates. South Carolina had just 2.6 percent of workers unionized, North Carolina is at 4.1 percent and Georgia is at 4.9 percent.