RTW—three letters that strikes terror in the hearts of liberals, democrats and unions. 

There have been a number of initiatives in Missouri to pass RTW or Right To Work to spell out the acronym.  Steve Tilley, who just resigned from the Missouri House, effectively blocked a vote on RTW saying, “It’s a waste of legislative time.”

This coming legislative session may be the time to reintroduce RTW.  A number of ‘Pub pols, including Tilley, aren’t coming back to Jeff City. Some were term limited like Tilley, others decided not to run, and still others lost in the primary.  Regardless of the reason, the number of ‘Pub RTW backers in the Missouri legislature is growing.

The real question is what is RTW and why is it good for Missouri.  The basic reason is that RTW is good for the economy and helps increase job growth.  It’s all about money.

Basically, RTW is the concept of freedom of employment without constraints or restrictions—like a union.  Unions on the other hand are against RTW because it reduces their power and their income via union dues and supplemental payments extracted from employers.

Depending upon the state—states without right-to-Work, some employees may not be required to join the union but they are still required to pay dues to the union.  What a racket—for the unions.  In other states, where a union exists, it’s join the union or no job. Think of it as being drafted into an organization that steals your money and does little or nothing in return.

The unions claim that they prevent employers from employer abuses. The truth of the matter is that unions preserve the jobs of the lazy, the incompetent at the expense of those who are productive.  Eventually, the union work force is filled with those they’ve saved—the lazy, the incompetent and others who wouldn’t be able to retain a job without the union.  The law of the lowest denominator. And before you criticize me, I grew up in a union household (UMWA) and have been a union member in the past (Teamsters.) I’ve seen with my own eyes the abuses and in some cases the outright extortion of unions.

Right to Work was allowed by the Taft Hartley Act in 1947, over Truman’s veto, that reigned in the power of the National Labor Relations Board.  Prior to Taft-Hartley, unions could, and did, close employment to only union members. Taft-Hartley gave the states the option to outlaw such tactics and to date, 23 states have done so.

The Taft–Hartley Act

Prior to the passage of the Taft–Hartley Act by Congress over President Harry S. Truman‘s veto in 1947, unions and employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act could lawfully agree to a closed shop, in which employees at unionized workplaces must be members of the union as a condition of employment. Under the law in effect before the Taft-Hartley amendments, an employee who ceased being a member of the union for whatever reason, from failure to pay dues to expulsion from the union as an internal disciplinary punishment, could also be fired even if the employee did not violate any of the employer’s rules.

The Taft–Hartley Act outlawed the closed shop. The union shop rule, which required all new employees to join the union after a minimum period after their hire, is also illegal.[1] As such, it is illegal for any employer to force an employee to join a union.

A similar arrangement to the union shop is the agency shop, under which employees must pay the equivalent of union dues, but need not formally join such union.

Section 14(b) of the Taft–Hartley Act goes further and authorizes individual states (but not local governments, such as cities or counties) to outlaw the union shop and agency shop for employees working in their jurisdictions. Under the open shop rule, an employee cannot be compelled to join or pay the equivalent of dues to a union, nor can the employee be fired if he joins the union. In other words, the employee has the right to work, regardless of whether or not he is a member or financial contributor to such a union.

We’ve all seen the effects of the union shop—GM, Chrysler, heavy manufacturing, mining. All those industries are failing.  In the case of GM, now popularly known as Government Motors, it is being propped up only by grants from the FedGov. Obama forced the sale of Chrysler to Fiat. Only Ford refused government money and is climbing out of its financial crises—there’s a lesson there for those who would learn it.

There is more proof at the state level that outlawing the closed shop works to increase employment and strengthen the economy.  I wrote about it some months ago in a blog post titled, “‘Missouri Drops in “Business Friendly State’ Poll.”

While the poll in that post is about business friendly states, those same states are also the ones with the best employment rates and economies in the nation.  The top twenty states in that poll have Right-to-Work.  If you examine the poll, those states with the strongest union presence and no RTW are at the bottom of the list. They are also the same states with the worse economies, highest unemployment and highest state debt.

This is another lesson supporting Right-to-Work if our state Representatives and Senators heed it. In the last primary, I voted for those candidates who supported RTW. I want them to validate my faith in them.

Right-to-Work. It’s time for Missouri to emerge from the unions’ socialists paradise.