In your Aug. 9 editorial “The Right-to-Work Rout” you claim that: “Given the choice, after right-to-work passed, some 16,000 Kentucky workers decided union representation wasn’t worth the cost, opting out of membership.”
This claim is simply is misleading. Historically, decreases in union membership have been attributed to a variety of factors, including plant closures and layoffs at private-sector unionized employers, decreases in public-sector unionized employment and spending in the construction sector.
Unions and management partner across many industries to produce some of the most successful products for the global marketplace and valued services for our citizens.
Martin Luther King Jr. referred to so-called right-to-work laws as an effort to destroy workers’ rights: “In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right-to-work.’ It provides no ‘rights’ and no ‘work.’ Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining. . . . We demand this fraud be stopped.”
Instead of attacking and curtailing workers’ rights, Americans must come together to rebuild the foundation of American prosperity, a strong middle class. Workers collectively organizing through unions has been and will continue to be an essential element for growing the American middle class.
Despite these attacks on the rights of workers, the future is ours. Kentucky’s union members reflect the timeless wisdom of our state motto: “United we stand, divided we fall.”