Labor Relations and Performance Management Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  729 Words
Date:  2022-07-20

The right to work principle represents the foundational human right of freedom. It affirms the right of each American citizen to work without the compulsion to join a union. Any form of compulsory unionization is thus a contradiction of the right to work principle. The law stipulates that no individual can be forced to pay dues to a labor union as a provision of gaining employment (Opfer & Han, 2017). 28 states in America have enacted this law that was made following the requirements of the Taft-Hartley Act (Straka, 2018). The law came into being in response to President Roosevelt's signing of the National Labor Relations Act. The law protected the right to unionize and compelled workers to contribute and pay the union leaders. Some Congress members proposed amendments to the pro-union structure of the Act in 1947, which led to President Truman's passing of the Taft-Hartley ("History of Unions and Right-to-Work Laws," 2013).

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The law means that employees can get jobs in any companies within the state without contributing towards union membership (Opfer & Han, 2017). It does not prohibit willing people from joining a labor union but rather accords them the right to decide whether they wish to refrain from unionization. Workers can hold a vote to decide for or against representation by a union ("History of Unions and Right-to-Work Laws," 2013). American workers are not out-rightly forced to become formal union members. However, non-right to work states allow unions to charge a fee to non-members as a pre-condition for employment. The default fee is often close to that of full membership, which makes it not worthwhile for employees to opt out (Straka, 2018). Non-right to work states do not protect the unwilling employee from the coercive requirement of union membership before employment.

The management of Sahara Oasis will have to decide on how to proceed. Opening business in a right to work state means that the union cannot force potential employees to pay for the privilege of gaining employment. The workers in this state will only join the union if they wish, and statistics show that the support for unions has been waning. Research indicates that unionization falls 50% five years after a state passes a right to work law (Sherk, 2011). Without the pre-requisite membership for employment, the union will not receive any support in the state. A lack of membership from the workers means that the company will find it hard to sustain all the expenses, and hence it will be ineffective (Opfer & Han, 2017). If there are no voluntary union members, Sahara Oasis will have to hire non-union members to fill the required positions as the union continues to represent and to appeal to their interests.

Right to work states have recorded an increase in business activity. One of the critical aspects of the right to work states is that they reduce the funding received by unions since membership is voluntary. It makes the unions less aggressive thus encouraging business investment and job creation (Sherk, 2011). Union firms will, on average, invest less, earn lower profits, and create fewer job opportunities than comparable non-unionized firms (Sherk, 2011). The company management can also negotiate wage rates directly with the employees without the pressure from the union. The ability of unions to negotiate collective bargaining agreements helps to ensure consistency for management in a company (Mayhew, 2018). Under unionization, wage increases, wages, benefits, and working hours are standardized. In the absence of unions, negotiating with each employee might be time-consuming.


Right to work laws protect the freedom of workers in the representative states. They can work without the threat of job loss due to non-payment of membership fees. Sahara Oasis must hire non-union workers since the state laws guide every business operation. Companies will primarily benefit from the weakening, or absence, of unions since it gives them the freedom to be aggressive.


History of Unions and Right-to-Work Laws. (2013). Retrieved from

Mayhew, R. (2018). The Advantages of Labor Unions for an Organization. Retrieved from

Opfer, C., & Han, J. (2017). Labor Organizing in Right-to-Work States Is Numbers Game. Retrieved from

Sherk, J. (2011). Right to Work Increases Jobs and Choices. Retrieved from

Straka, B. (2018). Right to Work - what is it, and more importantly, what isn't it?. Retrieved from

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Labor Relations and Performance Management Essay. (2022, Jul 20). Retrieved from

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