Beginning on July 1, 2016, West Virginia will become the 26th right-to-work state. These laws allow a person to work at any place of employment without being forced to join a union as a condition of employment. Currently, 24 states and Guam have given workers a choice when it comes to union membership. Labor unions still operate in those states, but workers cannot be compelled to become members as a requirement of their job.
In states without a right-to-work law, employees may be required to join a labor union if it represents workers at their place of employment. Those who refuse to join the union may still be required to pay for the costs of representation, since they profit from the union’s efforts in negotiating wages and benefits on behalf of all employees. Such “fair share” payments are often equivalent to the cost of union dues.
Our neighboring states, Virginia and North Carolina, are Right to Work states.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail published an op-ed by Cardinal Institute’s Garrett Ballengee and Union Conservative Inc.’s Terry Bowman on January 1, 2016.
Coverage of Garrett and Terry’s townhall on right-to-work can be seen here.