Minnesota’s Proposed Right To Work Law: What The Heck Is This Thing?

You may have heard that the Minnesota legislature is considering passing a law or having us vote on a constitutional amendment making Minnesota a Right To Work (RTW) state. RTW laws essentially allow people to opt out of joining a union at their workplace and paying dues. Currently, workers in Minnesota can opt out of being a union member if their workplace is unionized. However, they are typically required to pay the union a “fair share” of the dues, i.e. a percentage of the dues they would pay if they were full union members. The thought is that because these non-union members get some of the benefits the union provides (such as the pay and benefits negotiated by the union) they should have to provide some compensation to the union for obtaining those benefits for the employee. RTW would allow employees to opt out of the union and not pay the union anything, including a fair share.

Like many other issues, this one is highly political. On one hand, you have Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce arguing RTW will decrease unemployment and increase wages. On the other, you have Democrats and labor unions arguing the law will not decrease unemployment and will lower wages.

I found a couple of articles that I think lay out the positions and facts on RTW. You can read them here and here. But do your own research so if you are asked to vote on this measure, you are making an informed decision.

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