Brothers & Sisters,
District Lodge 54’s servicing jurisdiction covers Ohio, West Virginia and Northeastern Indiana. The State of Indiana fell to “Right-to-Work (for less)” laws in January of 2012.
The State of West Virginia also fell to “Right-to-Work (for less)” laws in January of 2016, now called the “Workplace Freedom Act.” In 2017, the W.V. State House updated House Bill 330, the “Workplace Freedom Act,” worsening workers rights even further. However, the West Virginia AFL-CIO is challenging these “Right-to-Work” laws and a Kanawha County Judge has deemed the “Right-to-Work” bill as unconstitutional and the decision will most likely end up in the Supreme Court.
Recently, “Right-to-Work (for less)” laws were introduced in the Ohio State House through House Bill 53. HB 53 was introduced on the heels of even more states enacting anti-union “Right-to-Work (for less)” laws, including the introduction of a national “Right-to-Work” legislative bill in the U.S. House of Representatives (HR 785) on Feb. 1, 2017.
Brother Jerry Espy and I have been traveling to all local lodges within our jurisdiction during the last three (3) months, conducting right-to-work-is-wrong discussions with our local lodge officers, stewards and membership. To date we have conducted thirteen (13) meetings and have six (6) more scheduled in May and June in the states of Ohio and West Virginia (Please look to page 5 for future meetings that you may attend).
“Right-To-Work” laws DO NOT protect workers; it does not protect you from unjust termination, it does not guarantee jobs. What they DO is weaken a union’s ability to bargain for workers’ in respect of wages, benefits, hours of work and safety conditions. In “Right-to-Work” states, wages are 26 percent less and workplace fatalities are 49 percent higher.
Under Federal Law, a union has to represent all the employees, meaning if a worker elects not to pay any union dues in a “Right-to-work” state and is disciplined, the union must use its time and resources to defend that person, the same as if they were a dues paying member in good standing. Don’t let the corporate rhetoric fool you – DON’T TRUST IT!
We call on everyone to contact their senators and representatives with calls, emails, letters and personal visits and tell them to reject this dangerous legislation. To find out who your representatives are visit whoismyrepresentative.com
After visiting our local lodges and speaking with our membership, officers and stewards without a doubt the Fighting Machinists will act aggressively to save our jobs and collective bargaining rights. It’s essential that our union has a strong voice in the workplace. Our steward’s leadership on the shop floor is vital to our success our future depends on it.
T. Dean Wright Jr.
Below is an attached video of former U.S. Secretary of State Robert Reich discussing why Right-to-Work is wrong.