Republican delegates reaffirmed support for a nationwide right-to-work law Monday during a vote on the party platform at the Republican National Convention.
Republicans have included right-to-work in past party platforms with the latest vote furthering that support. The policy outlaws mandatory union dues or fees as a condition of employment.
“We support the right of states to enact right-to-work laws and call for a national law to protect the economic liberty of the modern workforce,” the party platform states. “These policies are vital to creating an inclusive, innovative, and competitive workforce.”
West Virginia became the latest right-to-work state in February after Republicans were able to override a veto by Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. Right-to-work is now law in 26 states throughout the country.
Supporters argue the policy can help attract businesses while holding unions accountable to their members. Critics, however, dispute the claim by noting the policy makes it much more difficult for workers to advocate for themselves because it’s burdensome to unite against bad employers. They also note that it does little to actually attract businesses.
The Republican platform also calls for a reining in of labor regulations pushed while President Barack Obama was in office. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has overhauled a multitude of various workplace rules in recent years. The administration has argued the rules allow workplaces to function more efficiently but critics say they unfairly benefit unions.
Republicans also want to end Project Labor Agreements (PLA), which work like normal union contracts but govern temporary projects in a given region. PLAs often prevent nonunion companies from competing at a competitive rate by dictating wages and benefits.
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