Right to Work
by Larry Keller
Chicago - In this wonderful Country of ours where freedom of speech is a tradition, the spokesman for the National Right to Work Committee abused the privilege with his confusion about unions, in his letter to the "Voice of the People" last week.
The truth about the Right to Work Committee's philosophy is the so-called right to work in a union shop getting:
• union wages and benefits
• union protection and security
• union representation, and
• union collective bargaining...
all without paying union dues.
Isn't that the same as:
• Getting the benefits of a community without paying taxes?
• Subscribing to the Tribune without paying the carrier?
• Being a member of a (religious) congregation without contributing?
If a worker does not want to pay union dues he has the free, American right to find a job where the workers have not elected to have a union. In this Great Country a citizen does not say the President is not my President because I did not vote for him. In this Great Country a worker should not be able to say I refuse to pay union dues because I did not vote for the union -- but I want the same wages, hours, benefits and job protection that the union negotiates for its dues-paying members.
Union members are citizens, voluntarily joined together by majority vote, for the benefit of them all. That, too, is an American tradition.
The above letter was first published in the "Voice of the People" section of the Chicago Tribune on June 1, 1984. Larry was the SOAR Representative for the old United Steelworkers of America District 31.