By Sahid Fawaz
Americans aren't the only ones who don't like "right to work" laws.
Canadians are fed up with our laws too.
"Canadians are apparently sick of competing with nonunionized foreign workers South of the border. According to the Globe & Mail, the country’s negotiating team is asking the United States to scrap its anti-union right-to-work laws as part of an updated North American Free Trade Agreement, presumably in order to prevent poorly paid Americans from undercutting organized Canadian labor on wages. Obviously, this is not what the Trump administration had in mind when it demanded our neighbors return to NAFTA’s negotiating table.
Right-to-work statutes allow employees to opt out of paying fees to the unions that represent them in collective bargaining. These laws are frequently blamed for draining organized labor of financial resources and have likely contributed to the decline of union organizing over the past several decades. States are permitted to enact the laws under the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, a landmark piece of union-busting legislation that congressional Republicans passed over President Harry Truman’s veto. Canada, which like the U.S. is seeking to strengthen NAFTA’s labor protections overall, would reportedly appreciate it if Washington would pass new federal legislation banning right-to-work provisions.
'I’m very pleased with the position the Canadian government is taking on labour standards,' Jerry Dias, president of Canada’s largest private-sector union, told reporters outside of this weekend’s NAFTA talks. 'Canada’s got two problems: The low wage rates in Mexico and the right-to-work states in the United States.'"
For the rest of the story, check out the full Slate.com piece here.