New ‘Right to Work’ Laws Could Hobble Faculty Unions
By Peter Schmidt
Faculty unions outside Michigan have reason to be concerned with its passage last month of legislation barring unions from collecting fees from workers who do not join them. But the experiences of faculty unions in states that adopted such laws years ago suggest that while the measures can be a major hindrance to their work, they are not a death blow.
Proponents of such measures, who have succeeded in getting them widely known as “right to work” laws, and even many of the measures’ critics see their adoption by Michigan, a stronghold of organized labor, as portending support for them in statehouses elsewhere.
Among the states likely to seriously consider such legislation this year are Missouri, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. F. Vincent Vernuccio, director of labor policy for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, an advocacy group that promoted Michigan’s legislation, says he believes other states will feel pressure to adopt similar laws to remain economically competitive…read more