Press Release

AFT’s Weingarten on National ‘Right-to-Work’ Proposal

For Release: 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Andrew Crook
o: 202-393-8637 | c: 607-280-6603

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on national “right-to-work” legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives:

“So-called right-to-work legislation should really be called ‘right to work for less.’ It needs to be recognized for what it is—a full-frontal assault by corporate America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to strip working people of any voice at work, resulting in CEOs having more power and the working class having reduced wages.

“The evidence is clear: Right-to-work laws trigger a race to the bottom that shifts full-time jobs to part time, encourages offshoring, and guts health and safety laws. The average worker makes $6,000 less in right-to-work states. Workplace deaths are 44 percent higher in those states. And of the 20 states with the lowest education spending per student, 19 are right-to-work. Unions help all workers get ahead, not just their members. They protect workers’ safety and give them a voice in politics.

“If President Trump is serious about his promises to help those hurt by deindustrialization, globalization and automation—if he actually wants to honor his rhetoric to raise wages and create jobs—then he needs to reject this poisonous bill and immediately commit to veto it if it ever reaches his desk. You can be on the side of working people or on the side of ‘right to work for less,’ but you can’t be both.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.

Follow Randi @rweingarten on Twitter