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LETTER: Virginia should remain a right to work state

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LETTER: A letterbox with the inscription Letter to the editor

In 1969, I matriculated (no, it has nothing to do with eating) at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. I was assured (by Cornell) it was the most prestigious college of its kind in all of the United States and probably the world. I studied the history of unions—The American Federation of Labor, The Congress of Industrial Organizations, The “Wobblies,” The Teamsters, The United Auto Workers, The National Education Association (now by far the largest with over 3,000,000 members).

I read Robert Kennedy’s classic “The Enemy Within.” I studied labor economics, collective bargaining, mediation and arbitration, public sector unions, labor law and right to work legislation. I tell you all of this to qualify myself as at least somewhat able to have an opinion on the merits of unionism and specifically the need to protect our “right to work” laws in Virginia.

Right to work laws provide that we are to always have a choice to join or not join a union. We can never be compelled to join. Union membership may never be a condition of employment. Also, we can never be compelled to pay union dues. Without these protections unions can withhold employment from those who do not join the union and compel all workers (members or not) to pay union dues. Those dues are used to support politicians and causes that further enable unions to control labor.

After completing my degree, I wandered a bit through public education (yes, a member of the NEA) and then ended up owning a 60-employee company. A union approached some of my workers, and there was a possibility they might choose to join. The important word there was choose. They did not choose the union, especially after they saw how they were kept employed full time at my company and saw their unionized counterparts often only working part time. And there were no union dues to pay.

Historically, Democrats like unions and like compulsion and the flow of political contributions from union dues. Terry McAuliffe certainly does. Glenn Younkin, Winsome Sears and Jason Miyares want to keep the right to work in Virginia.

Vote Republican this fall. No, really, vote Republican. Vote early at the registrar’s office in Warrenton now, or on Nov. 2 in your precinct.

—Mike Straight


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