Considerations are currently being made to make Indiana a “right-to-work” state. The definition of “right-to-work” is the ability of those employed in a union shop to be able to opt out of union membership. In the short term, it is believed that this will have little effect on union membership. However, it could have a long term impact on union membership if, during collective bargaining proceedings, the union members feel betrayed by their union.
Beyond changing the relationship that workers will have with their unions, this may also change the relationship that employees will have with their employers. For one, it will create additional complexity to legislation already governing employment relationships. For two, depending on the employer, they may use such right-to-work legislation to strong arm employees into leaving their unions. And for three, unions will now be forced to be more forthright with their members or possibly face legal consequences.
Sometimes, legal action is required to force employers and/or unions to comply with the laws such as the proposed right-to-work legislation. Attorneys experienced in the area of workplace discrimination and disputes are familiar with what conduct should and should not be tolerated at the workplace and can often force businesses and unions to make changes concerning handling of employment matters.
Employers and unions have not always been responsive to changes and are often reluctant to implement policies that are fair to employees and union members. Employees have every right to expect a workplace atmosphere that addresses any particular employment concern.
Source: jconline.com, “A right-to-work view from here on the factory floor,” by Mike VanOuse, Dec. 27, 2011