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Stand Up Against Attacks on Union Members - Why "Right to Work" is Wrong

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Right to Work is Wrong for WorkersAcross the country, there has been a dramatic assault on working people in the public and private sector, with government officials irresponsibly asserting their power to strips workers of their voice on the job. Employers want you to think "right-to-work" laws are for our benefit, but they are actually for theirs. "Right-to-work" laws are an attempt to move us into part-time positions, to off-shore our jobs to low-wage countries, to cut back on our health and safety protections, and to pay us less.

Here in Illinois, the first month of Bruce Rauner’s term as governor has been focused squarely on placing the onus of Illinois’ financial woes on the unions and the means to fix them squarely on the backs of working families.   

Get the Facts About "Right-to-Work" Laws

The Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) and the University of Illinois School of Labor and Employment Relations’ Labor Education Program (LEP) jointly investigated the economic and policy impacts of adopting local “right-to-work” laws in Illinois. Two studies explore their findings. 

The Impact of Local “Right-to-Work” Zones: Predicting Outcomes for Workers, the Economy, and Tax Revenues in Illinois

The Economic Impacts of Adopting a Right-to-Work Law: Implications for Illinois

  • The average worker wages are $2.90 per hour (13 percent) higher in Illinois than in right-to-work Indiana and Illinois added 14,000 more jobs in 2014.
  • Right to Work lowers workers earnings. Over 10 years, the effect of RTW on incomes would be a loss of almost $24,000 for all workers. 
  • Nationwide, union membership is correlated with approximately a 12-13 percent increase in earnings.
  • Over time, the hourly wages of African-American workers would decrease by 2-9 percent, the hourly wages of women would fall by between 2-8 percent, and the hourly wages of Latino/a workers could fall by as much as 8 percent. 
  • Construction fatality rates in right-to-work states were higher than those in collective bargaining states. 
  • More people lack health insurance in right-to-work states.
  • Right-to-work is not a major factor in where businesses locate. 
  • Fair share fee payers do not have to pay for political causes or other non-representation costs with which they do not agree.



  • Enough - The real story behind the attacks on working people in Wisconsin, Ohio and around the country, and a look at what's at stake in this fight for the middle class.
  • What is Right to Work?