Right-to-Work (for less)

Deceptive "Right-to-Work" laws hurt everyone

By many measures, the quality of life is worse in states with “right to work” laws. Wages are lower, poverty levels are higher, people are less likely to have health insurance and resources for education are lower — even infant mortality and the likelihood of being killed on the job are higher.
States with Right-to-Work laws:

  • Have lower wages and incomes
    • On average, workers in states with right-to-work laws make $5,971 less annually than workers in other states.
  • Have lower rates of health insurance coverage
    • Workers in right-to-work states also pay a larger share of their health insurance premiums, on average, than those in free-bargaining states.
  • Have higher poverty and infant mortality rates
    • Poverty rates are higher in states with right-to-work laws (14.8% overall and 20.2% for children), compared with poverty rates of 13.1% overall and 18.3% for children in states without these laws.
  • Invest less in education
    • States with right-to-work laws spend 31.3% less per pupil on elementary and secondary education than other states.
  • Have higher workplace fatality rates
    • The rate of workplace deaths is 54.4% higher in states with these laws, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Click here to download a flyer detailing how Right-to-Work laws hurt everyone.


"Right to work" may sound like a good thing, but what are called right-to-work laws would more accurately be termed “right-to-work-for-less” because of its aim to deprive unions of dues and money essential to their ability to represent workers and enforce contracts. Extremist groups, right-wing politicians and their corporate backers want to weaken the power of workers and their unions through "right to work" laws, undermining the basic rights of workers. Read on for more truths about right-to-work (for less).