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The Falsehoods of the Union Debate

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Wisconsin’s right to work legislation, championed by Governor Scott Walker, has been upheld by the 7th court of appeals.

This decision comes on the heels of another ruling in which U.S. District Judge William Conley last March declared that requiring unions to hold yearly elections and denying unions the ability to forcibly take worker’s wages was unconstitutional.

I kid you not, a disgraceful district judge said it is unconstitutional to not allow a union to force membership or for the union to confiscate wages from a worker without that worker’s consent.

The law, which the AP reports “[strips] most public workers of nearly all of their collective bargaining rights,” has now been upheld in its entirety by the 7th court of appeals.

In actuality, the law is just a version of right to work legislation that does not allow unions to require membership to work and prevents unions from withdrawing dues from worker’s paychecks without the consent of the worker.

The purpose of right to work legislation, like that in Wisconsin, is to remove the ability of the unions to use the power of government to force the unwilling worker to join the union and pay dues to it just to be able to hold a job.

Right to work does not remove the ability of workers to voluntarily elect to join a union, and therefore, does not restrict the “rights” the union members may perceive they have to collectively bargain. If anyone is losing a “right” it is the union’s perceived right to subjugate the workers in any particular industry.

To be able to have a debate on the merits of any kind of union system requires that everyone be honest in how they pose their argument. In right to work we have seen false characterizations, not only from the unions and politicians, but also from media sources like the AP and others.

The problem people on the right (both in being literally correct and politically right) are having is that they continue to allow the union left to frame the debate and attempt to defeat the idea using semantic falsehoods in the phrasing of the argument.

Regardless if the falsehoods are maliciousness or ignorance, when we try to phrase our arguments using the same falsehoods, there is no way to have a fair debate nor get the point across.

Just as it would be impossible for a pastor to win an argument on religion when the basis of the argument is framed that religion and science are mutually exclusive it is also impossible for us, that know right to work is not in any way the seizure of rights, to win the argument when we allow the other side to phrase it falsely as such.

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