Michigan today enacted a series of laws designed to ensure employees' the "right to work". From press accounts one might think this is an exceptional and outrageous action, that it is reversing decades of union protections. Of course, that is untrue. Twenty-three States have had such laws in effect before Michigan. Such laws simply allow an employee to opt out of a union, to choose not to be a member. Some States place restrictions on that. But the basic principle of right to work is quite simple and fair. It is that every employee should have the right to belong to a union but no employee should be compelled to belong to a union.
For some bizarre reason, President Obama chose to wade into a purely State's issue to pontificate:
What we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions… These so-called right-to-work laws, they don’t have to do with economics; they have everything to do with politics. What they are really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money.
Nothing in a right to work law restricts a union's right to negotiate. Now, our President should know that. Even though he's never held a job in a "real" business--he's a product of community organizations and public sector roles--surely he must understand that a right to work law simply expands an individual's rights; it surely does NOT restrict those rights.