Document Type

White Paper


University of Maine Bureau of Labor Education

Publication Date


Publisher location

Orono, Maine

Abstract/ Summary

This is a brief 2013 update to the Bureau of Labor Education’s (BLE) 2011 briefing paper, “The Truth about ‘Right to Work’ Laws.” As documented in the 2011 BLE paper, the term “right-to-work” is highly misleading, and many studies have shown that RTW laws are not helpful to the well-being of working people. “Right-to-work” does not protect against unfair firing, or promote equitable wages and decent working conditions. By undermining unions and the ability of labor and management to bargain freely, right-to-work laws weaken the ability of workers to protect their rights through a union contract. There are two major new points in this update: 1) the addition of two more states to the number of states with right-to-work laws, and 2) a review of a recent study of the effects of RTW laws on workers’ wages and benefits.


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