Unions Profit by Restricting Workers’ Choices

The gold standard for labor reform is right-to-work, according to the conventional wisdom. However, our latest policy reportTransforming Laborshows why right-to-work laws aren't enough to protect public employees. 

Of the 50 states we surveyed, 18 were right-to-work states that allow collective bargaining for public employees. That means government unions can negotiate limits on workers' choices, such as demanding exclusive representation of all employees, even if some would rather negotiate their own salary without the union's help.

Clear limits on collective bargaining can go a long way in protecting workers from a host of special privileges public sector unions negotiate to maintain power and reduce accountability to members.

In Pennsylvania, there are few restrictions on a government union's ability to collectively bargain. So it's no surprise that less than 1% of public school teachers in large cities have ever voted for their union. It also shouldn't come as a shock when union executives demand public resources and staff to run their private operations, resulting in ghost teachers haunting public schools.

Whether it be protecting public employees from threats or ensuring their dues aren't used for politics, Transforming Labor shows we still have a lot of work to do.