The Uncertain Effects of Right-to-Work

Source: Melissa Maynard,, January 9, 2013

…Right-to-work laws, now in place in 24 states after Michigan passed one in December, make it illegal to require workers to pay fees to unions as a condition of their employment. The laws can cripple union finances, infrastructure and bargaining clout with employers if too many of the people represented by the bargaining unit decide to stop paying dues and become what the unions call “free riders.” Under federal law, unions are required to provide many of the same services to people who choose not to pay as they do to dues-paying members. They are required to represent them in employment disputes….

…[R]emarkably little is known about how these laws will impact both unions and the economy over the long haul, and it will be years before their full effects are felt. The laws will be phased in gradually as current contracts between employers and unions expire. The South Bend Sheet Metal Workers union is one of just a few to have gone through the process; others won’t do so until as late as 2017…
Indiana experience offers little hope for Michigan ‘right-to-work’ law
Source: Gordon Lafer, Marty Wolfson, and Nancy Guyott, Economic Policy Institute, Policy Memorandum #199, December 11, 2012