Monday, January 14, 2013

End Government Intrusion into Labor-Management Contracts

My recent Objective Standard blog post attacks a sacred cow of conservatives but also many on the right; so-called "right-to-work" laws. Right-to-work laws are authorized, at the discretion of individual states, under the Taft-Hartley Act. 

Read my post, End "Collective Bargaining Rights" and "Right-to-Work" Laws.

One of the objections against my position was raised by a couple of correspondents. Bonnie Bertrand writes:


Right to work laws take the teeth out of collective bargaining laws. To regard them as "equally rights-violating" and "equally illegitimate" fails to recognize this fact.

And James Young writes:


   So, in light of the inability to repeal one set of coercive laws, libertarians shouldn't support the mitigation of their coercive effects?   Too often, libertarians make the perfect the enemy of the good. This discussion is one such instance.

I answered with the following:

"Right-to-work laws go quite a bit beyond mitigating the coercive effects of or taking the teeth out of coercive union-empowering laws: They outlaw certain perfectly legitimate union-company contractual agreements. By accepting this, one accepts as legitimate the same statist premise that underpins laws like the Wagner Act; that government may dictate labor-management contractual terms. 

"If a "right-to-work" law actually went no further than to neutralize the effects of bad labor laws, it might be worthy of support from pro-individual rights forces."


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