National Employee Freedom Week is a campaign to raise awareness for the rights of American workers to choose without penalty whether to participate in a union or not. The results from a recent survey are a promising sign for employee freedom but also show there is still a lot of work to be done to educate workers about their rights.
When asked “If it were possible to opt out of membership in a labor union without losing your job or any other penalty, would you do it,” almost 30 percent of union members nationally said “yes.” Of the Arizona union households asked, 28.4 percent said they were not aware of their right to opt-out of union membership and dues without losing their job or incurring penalty.
More than two-thirds of union members surveyed said that employees who have opted-out should have the right to represent themselves in negotiations with their employers — meaning more than two-thirds of union households believe in “Worker’s Choice” (where members can completely opt-out of paying any dues or “agency fees,” and instead negotiate directly with their employer). This sentiment was particularly high in strongly unionized states such as California (66.2 percent,) Michigan (70.1 percent,) and New Jersey (65.3 percent.)
In support of further study on this important policy issue, the Heritage Foundation and Nevada Policy Research Institute researched the cost of collective bargaining. According to their study, if union membership was simply made voluntary nationwide, state and local governments would have been able to save between $127 and $164 billion in 2014 alone.
There are still many employees in the United States who feel coerced into belonging to a union. Considering Big Union Bosses are in front of workers on a nearly constant basis, it is imperative we all spread the facts about employees’ freedoms and rights.