To the Editor:
Scott Reeder’s recent column (May 29) about right-to-work-for-less laws is full of half-truths and omissions to justify his position. He skews his memory of Galesburg companies and omits the impact of these laws on workers.
Maytag refrigerator was bought by Whirlpool and production went overseas. Lawn Boy was bought by Toro and production went to Minnesota. Butler Manufacturing still exists and closed the Galesburg plant. Sounds like the plants fell victim to greedy corporate bosses, not greedy union bosses.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of workplace deaths is 52.9 percent higher in states with right-to-work-for-less laws. Overall, union members earn 28 percent more per week than non-union workers. More than 70 percent of union workers have access to medical insurance through work, compared with 51 percent of non-union workers. More than 75 percent of union workers have access to a guaranteed (defined benefit) retirement plan through work, compared with 20 percent of non-union workers.
According to the National Education Association, 11 of the 15 states with the highest poverty are right-to-work-for-less states. They also spend $3,392 less per pupil on elementary and secondary education, and students are less likely to be performing at their appropriate grade level in math and reading.
Workers should have the right to choose, Mr. Reeder, but they should also get all the information needed to make an informed decision. They have a right to choose unions, without management interference and intimidation, which will collectively bargain for well-paying, safe jobs that provide good benefits.
Carlos J. Acosta