Imagine having half of your blood drained, then being forced to run a marathon. Think you’ll win the race? That’s the idea behind anti-worker laws. Without contributions from members, unions can’t make it to the finish-line. It’s the typical ‘bate and switch’ legal jargon big business has been putting out for decades.
There are closed shop states, and open shop states. Here in Oregon, it’s a closed shop: paying union dues is a mandatory part of employment. In an open shop state you have the right to work for a willing employer, whether or not you pay or participate in a union. However, unions are expected to perform the same tasks and duties with limited, or no money. Proponents of these kinds of laws argue the closed shop method makes unions coercive, and violates our freedom of speech. I disagree: I chose to join my union when I was hired, and in-so-doing agreed to pay them what was due. Had I preferred to be paid bare minimum, with no representation, I’d would have stuck with a nonunion job. Think about it like this: we don’t get to vote on where our taxes go. We send out the check, and others divvy out our money (and not to everything we really want our hard-earned money spent on). Because if we didn’t pay our taxes, our nation would stop working.
Look outside your window next time it snows, they’ll be no-one plowing your roads. Say goodbye to public school, local police, firefighters, bike trails, etc. But it’s the government’s job to do these things; right? Yes, but not pro bono! Eventually the government would go utterly bankrupt. Similarly, all the luxuries we have, and rely on from the Union will crumble: collective bargaining, monitoring for safety, legal aid, and good ol’ fashion answering phones, and filling out spreadsheets–none of it’s free. I know where my dues go–right back to me; after its helped countless others.
Business is simple: make money at all cost; unions balance this by making sure people are able to take care of themselves, before business takes care of itself. It’s easy to feel wrapped up in the red tape of bureaucracy, but cut that tape, and any company will happily pay you minimum wage–with as few benefits as possible. So do more than vote NO on this thinly veiled union buster—encourage, and educate others. Together, we’ll win the race.