There has been plenty of confounding political rhetoric on the so-called right-to-work law recently passed by the General Assembly. But one fact is undeniable. Laws of this kind are just copies of an old Jim Crow law. In the famous words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., “It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights.”
Some will say that doesn’t matter anymore because we’ve made great strides in civil rights. They are referring to overt racism while ignoring institutional racism and structural racism. The problem with the so-called right-to-work laws today is institutional racism.
Unorganized workers have no rights under the At Will Employment Doctrine in our state law. By contrast, union workers have the right to file grievances. This process is an accessible means of addressing concerns about discrimination and other problems at work.
All workers ought to have this right; however, the so-called right-to-work laws deny such rights by making it harder for workers to organize.
The outcome is that few workers can raise concerns about discrimination except for resorting to public hearings and the courts. Those processes are expensive, intimidating and slow.
The bottom line is these laws enable institutional racism.