Even if the open shop hasn’t hit your union yet, don't get too comfortable.
If you're one of the lucky ones—say, a Teamster in California or a telecom worker in New York—what do you care? How does the rise of open-shop America affect you? Four ways:
- You’re next. Right-to-work proponents want to finish the job. Expect to be targeted with local, state, or national right-to-work efforts.
- Public services will suffer. Weakening unions in government agencies, hospitals, classrooms, and universities makes it harder for employees to do a good job for the public they serve, from the ER to the local library. Unions will be less able to press for better funding of services.
- Your public sector allies will take a hit. Loss of members and money means unions can’t spend as much on political work, so more enemies of labor may be elected at all levels. Expect a tighter budget too for anything that public sector unions help to fund—such as local coalitions, labor councils, or community groups.
- Public sector wages and benefits will decline, making it harder to maintain your own standards. Expect unfavorable comparisons at the bargaining table. Experience shows that right-to-work laws depress wages all around.