The Great State of Indiana has finally passed its right to work legislation after a bitter battle in both houses of the state congress, re-adding the law to the books after it was repealed in 1965. But with a Republican victory comes threats of protests, disruption and chaos from Big Labor on the eve of Indy’s first Super Bowl.
“Wait, wait, wait… what is this right-to-work thingy?”
Good question. “Right to work” laws basically prohibit closed shops – places of work in which all employees must pay union dues, regardless of whether or not they want to belong in a union. Sound unfair? Well, it is. For example, I have a friend who works at a grocery store who is required to forfeit a percentage of his check every week to the workers’ union as a condition of continued employment. He hates the union and wants no part in it, but he needs to work, too. Coercion comes in many forms, my friends.
Unions are almost impossible to justify in today’s working world. In fact, unions are actually responsible for most of manufacturing workers’ pains (outsourcing, for example). If unions were justified, they wouldn’t need to used the closed-shop method of forcing workers to join and pay dues – instead, workers would naturally flock to a functional, effective institution that improves their workplace and finances. Unions used to be like this in the past, but no more. One doesn’t need to look far to see that modern unions become corrupt distortions of their protective and useful forerunners – organized labor has become a form of organized crime.
The protests that unions are planning in response to this new law are clear signs of desperation. Without a closed shop, union membership will plummet rapidly, adding to a national trend of declining participation in union activities. This alone isn’t surprising, but the fact that the protestors are planning to soil Indiana’s clean national image in front of an audience of about 100 million people is simply self-interest personified. Considering all the hard work that went into securing the NFL championship game, this move would undo immense amounts of progress for the state and the city of Indianapolis.
If the unions go through with their protests, I predict a major backlash from Americans from coast to coast. It’s hard to see the average, common-sense citizen watch a display of total anarchy led by a group with the word “organized” in its name and not think “hypocrisy.” Following through on these threats would accelerate, not reverse, the declining influence of unions across the country. Most likely, this concept, outmoded by history, will be put out of its misery sometime soon. We can only hope.