Right to Work

Free choice for all Oregon workers.

In June 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that public sector employees have the right to choose whether they want to pay union dues. Prior to this ruling, Oregon was one of many states without Right to Work laws – laws which protect workers in unionized workplaces from being compelled either to join the union or to pay any part of the cost of union representation.

Mark Janus successfully argued that everything public sector unions do is inherently political since they operate by interacting with public officials. Forcing employees to be a part of it would violate their First Amendment rights of free speech and association.

However, the fight for free choice for all Oregon workers does not end with the Janus ruling. This decision frees public workers from conscripted union dues, but it does nothing to protect workers in the private sector.

The Right to Work without third-party interference is more than an economic issue; it is a profoundly moral one as well. In America, no one should be compelled to join a union or to pay union dues in order to hold a job. Hopefully, before long Oregon will grant true employee freedom to every worker in the state.

Cascade Policy Institute has produced a short video featuring now-Oregonian Harry Beck, the man whose two-decade-long struggle with his union resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court finding in 1988 that no worker can be compelled to pay union dues designated for purely political activities. Watch the video at OregonEmployeeChoice.com

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