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  • Writer's picturesuryasrikumar2

Right-To-Work Laws

Right To Work Laws are laws that allow a worker to opt to not pay union fees while the union still has to represent them. Right To Work Laws have killed unions. Garcia 19 finds that right-to-work laws give workers the option to opt out of union payments, while the union still has to represent them. This causes a free-loading issue, killing union membership because unions need funding to make collective bargaining agreements. Overall, NBER 22 states that RTW laws decrease unionization rates by 20%. These unions are crucial to worker health in two ways.

The first is accident avoidance.

Parsons 16 finds that by investing resources into training and creating workplace hazard protections, unions significantly decrease the chance of work fatalities or injuries. Thus, Zoorob 18 quantifies decreased unionization due to RTW laws that have historically increased work-related death by 14.2%. Ibew furthers that this has resulted in approximately 7,300 deaths. Put into perspective, the rate of workplace fatalities is 54 percent higher in right-to-work states.

Second is ensuring insurance.

Chava 17 writes that since RTW laws decrease union bargaining power, firms decrease healthcare benefits for employees since they no longer have unions pressuring them. That's why the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2019 quantifies that on net 95% of unionized workers have health insurance while only 68% of nonunion workers have it. A lack of healthcare for workers is deadly as Found ‘20 concludes that 45,000 Americans die every year due to a lack of healthcare.

For the good of the healthcare industry and to ensure that these workers have adequate care and insurance, RTW laws must be abolished.

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