By Robert VerBruggen, National Review Online
As Mario Loyola and others have noted, Michigan seems poised to enact a right-to-work law, and union supporters — including the president — have been panicking. They’re justified in being worried: Right-to-work laws are a useful step in rolling back the unions’ horrendous National Labor Relations Act (see my lengthy examination of the act here). But these laws shouldn’t make us lose sight of the fact that the NLRA itself is the problem.
Under the NLRA, once a private-sector union has votes from a majority of workers, it has a legal right to represent all workers. (This is often called “monopoly bargaining” power.) In return, union agreements typically require workers to join or pay dues, even if they don’t want to. State right-to-work laws, which have been allowed under the NLRA since the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, give workers the right to refuse to join or pay.