Professor Marick Masters discusses right-to-work law
In another blow to unions, Wisconsin's right-to-work law, formally known as Act 1, was upheld Monday by a federal judge who threw out a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality. Right-to-work laws give employees the opportunity to work without being required or compelled to join a union, even if they benefit from better workplace conditions negotiated by their union affiliated coworkers. The law also prohibits businesses and unions from reaching agreements requiring all workers, not only union members, to pay union dues. Unions have argued the law allows nonunion members to receive free representation. "They're trying to say that basically they took away their property, that they are trying to represent employees, and they have to represent employees who don't pay union dues," said Marick Masters, professor of management and director of the Labor@Wayne at Wayne State University. "Therefore, it's not fair for them to free-ride," he continued. "That's the basic challenge. And over the years, the whole purpose of right-to-work laws is to allow people to free-ride, that you can't compel union membership or you can't compel dues."