Kentucky and Missouri have become the 27th and 28th states to enact so-called “right-to-work” laws, reflecting in large part the switch in many governorships and state legislatures in recent years from Democratic control to Republican.  Right-to-work laws essentially make it illegal to require an employee to pay union dues as a condition of employment.

Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), “any state or territory” is authorized to pass a law that allows workers to choose not to join a labor union and not to pay any fees or dues as a condition of employment.  This is an exception to another NLRA provision that permits the inclusion of a “union-security clause” in a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that requires all workers covered by the CBA to pay the union an initiation fee and dues as a condition of employment.

Not surprisingly, organized labor and its primarily Democratic political allies are adamantly opposed to right-to-work laws, recognizing that they can erode union membership, and thus bargaining power.  In contrast, some employer groups along with their primarily Republican political allies support right-to-work laws for the very reasons unions oppose them.

Members of the Equal Employment Advisory Council (EEAC) can read more here.