Cross-posted from Smirking Chimp
At a labor-themed speech in Wisconsin on Monday, President Obama told a crowd of union members that if he were looking for a job, he'd join a union.
The president told the crowd that, "If I were looking for a good job that lets me build some security for my job, I'd join a union. If I were busting my butt in the service industry and wanted an honest day's pay for an honest day's work, I'd join a union... I'd want a union looking out for me and if I cared about these things I'd also want more Democrats looking out for me."
But Mr. President, would you really be able to join a union today, given all the barriers employers put up to it like forcing you to sit through hours and hours of threatening anti-union meetings and presentations?
That's exactly what's happening in the US today.
It's now harder than ever before to join a union, thanks to the decades-long War on Labor that conservatives have been waging ever since Ronald Reagan came to Washington.
And they've been waging that war with help from "right to work laws," which should properly and accurately be called "right to work for less" laws, and from the multibillion dollar-a-year union-busting industry.
Right now, 22 states have "right to work for less" laws on the books, but despite conservative claims, these laws do nothing to protect jobs.
Instead, they undermine and destroy unions, thus undermining the basic rights of US workers to unionize. And, they're terrible for our economy too.
According to the AFL-CIO, workers in "right to work for less" states earn an average of $5,680 less per year than workers in states that promote union membership.
Similarly, median household income in "right to work for less" states is nearly $6,500 less than in other states.
Meanwhile, people in "right to work for less" states are more likely to be uninsured, and are more likely to be working low-wage jobs.
And, as a new study out of the University of Illinois-Urbana reveals, workers in "right to work for less" states receive 24 percent more government assistance than workers in non-right to work states.
So, conservative-backed "right to work for less" laws are doing untold damage to our economy, while breaking up unions in the process.
But they're not the only thing responsible for the rapid decline of unions in the US.
Thanks to the conservative War on Labor, the US also has a booming multibillion-dollar-a-year union-busting industry.