Voting no on 1 will save your pay, your right to redress grievances to the government and your Freedom of Speech.
1. What is proposition 1 on Virginia’s ballot?
The question is:
Should Article I of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to prohibit any agreement or combination between an employer and a labor union or labor organization whereby (i) nonmembers of the union or organization are denied the right to work for the employer, (ii) membership to the union or organization is made a condition of employment or continuation of employment by such employer, or (iii) the union or organization acquires an employment monopoly in any such enterprise?
This is already the law and Virginia and it is already US Federal code enacted under the Taft-Hartley act, which eliminated mandatory union membership as a condition of employment.
The Taft-Hartley act left a loop hole in place that allowed states to enact laws that would require unions to represent non-members as if they were members. This created a situation where unions were losing members and their dues, which impaired the union’s ability to negotiate. As union membership declined, so did wages and benefits because employers were empowered and their workers had fewer and fewer rights.
It has been shown through decades of research that right to work (RTW) states have lower wages, less benefits, more workplace injuries and less overall employment opportunities. A study by the NEA found that productivity is higher in non-RTW states by 13%; in RTW states an average of 3.6 million more people are in poverty, probably due to the much lower wages, on average $1,500 per employee per year.
Also, in RTW states an average of 8.6 million more people are uninsured due to employers not offering insurance or not offering affordable insurance. Recently the Richmond Times Dispatch came out against proposition 1, indicating that it limited the action of future legislatures, abridged freedom of speech and the law is biased against union memberships. The paper questioned whether this type of law should be in the founding documents of Virginia.
As Virginians we must maintain the freedom of the people to advocate for changes to laws if we so desire, and placing this amendment in the constitution is going to make it very difficult for the average Virginian to lobby for changes to labor laws.
This cumbersome process is in effect a gag over the people of Virginia’s mouth concerning their labor rights. The worker has no voice; only the employer does, is the message being sent by this amendment.
While some say RTW laws promote growth, we can honestly say after years of studies, that this is not the truth. Historically, when union membership was high, the prosperity of the average worker was high also.
Vote No on 1, for your pay and your freedom.