Letter to the Editor

Union dues like subdivision dues

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In response to an Associated Press article titled "Mo. lawmaker proposes statewide vote on union jobs," it is only fair to point out that this proposal would reduce the wages of all Missourians, not just union workers.

Right-to-work (for less) would allow workers in unionized facilities to avoid paying dues to cover the cost of their representation. In practical terms, these workers would receive union negotiated benefits while sticking their co-workers with the cost of negotiating those same benefits.

A comparison could be made to the freeloader that buys a house in a subdivision knowing there are neighborhood association dues to maintain the streets, parks and other amenities and then not paying the dues owed.

Just as all of the neighborhood property values would decline as the streets and parks fell into disrepair because our freeloading neighbor refused to pay his dues, wages and benefits would decline in the workplace. As the "good jobs" pay less, other workplaces discover they can pay less, and all of us will take a pay cut.

That's why union and nonunion workers in states free from right-to-work (for less) laws earn $5,000 more in wages and salaries than workers in right-to work (for less) states according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Is a $5,000 cut in pay your idea of economic progress?

Let's hope Sen. Crowell has better ideas than reducing wages for Missouri workers while encouraging unaccountable freeloaders.

DARIN GILLEY, Pacific, Mo.