Right to Work is Right for Alabama

Right to Work is Right for Alabama

Today, Alabama voters have the opportunity to take an important step in protecting basic workplace freedom by supporting Amendment 8.

Since 1953, Alabama workers have been protected by law from being forced to join a labor union or pay union dues as a condition of employment. Amendment 8 will add the current Right to Work provisions that protect employees from forced unionization to the state constitution, providing an additional layer of protection for employees by preventing their membership, or non-membership, in a labor union or organization from being used as a condition for employment.

Allowing employees to choose whether or not to join a labor union based on how the decision will impact them personally is basic common sense. In fact, a 2014 Gallup poll found that 82 percent of Americans believe that “no American should be required to join any private organization, like a labor union, against his or her will.”

In addition to Right to Work being an important policy to guarantee freedom for workers, it also plays an important role in boosting economic growth. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that private sector employment grew 5.2 percent faster in Right to Work states than non-Right to Work states from 2003 to 2013. U.S. Department of Commerce data also shows that per capita disposable income, adjusted for cost of living, was higher in Right to Work states than the national average in 2013. This means that not only were more jobs created in Right to Work states, but also workers had more disposable income in Right to Work states than in states where employees were still forced to pay union dues in order to accept or keep a job.

While Alabama was an early adopter of Right to Work, momentum around this important policy has grown tremendously over the last decade, and today, 26 states have passed Right to Work laws. By strengthening Alabama’s commitment to worker freedom and free enterprise, Alabama voters can make our state a more attractive place to do business and an easier place for our businesses to create jobs. This is particularly important for the hardworking men and women of Alabama’s construction industry who rely on a healthy overall economy more than workers in other industries. Creating conditions that attract more investment and growth will foster an environment that produces more jobsites, which means more jobs for our skilled craft professionals.

Alabama voters have many decisions to make before they head to the polls today. Supporting Amendment 8 will protect the freedom of Alabama workers while also making our state an easier place to do business.

Randall Curtis, Chairman of the Board
Associated Builders and Contractors of Alabama