By Evan Henerson
As if the tidings of national right-to-work legislation weren’t bad enough, now several states are bracing for the same fight.
The passage of Kentucky’s right-to-work legislation, which prohibits unions from forcing its non-union members to pay dues, may be the first domino to fall from the Republican gains during the 2016 election, National Public Radio’s Todd Bookman and Brett Neely report.
Kentucky became the 27th right-to-work state compared to 21 states where union dues are mandatory. Missouri and New Hampshire are considering going right-to-work and could pass laws by this month.
“If all three states succeed in enacting "right-to-work" bills, it would be the most states rolling back union power in one year since 1947,” reports NPR’s Bookman and Neely. “Success in New Hampshire would also make it the first state in the Northeast with a "right-to-work" law.
The report chalks this up to the waning of union muscle. 10.7% of American workers belonged to a union in 2016 compared to 20.1% in 1983 when the Bureau of Labor Statistics first started tracking the data.
The elections of GOP governors Chris Sununu in New Hampshire and Eric Greitens in Missouri have pretty much made right-to-work a slam dunk in those two states.
The authors say this playing out even more the next election season.
"Some people do view it as Republican payback against the role of unions in elections," Dean Spiliotes, a political scientist at Southern New Hampshire University told NPR. "If you are reducing the level of funding through cutting their dues, that's going to have political impacts."
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