Today is Labor Day in many countries of the world, and it will be celebrated in Iowa as the 55th anniversary of the state’s “Right to Work” law. Kirk Shelley is executive Director of Iowans for Right to Work.He says the law prevents anyone from being forced to join a union to get a job, and Shelley says labor movement founder Samuel Gompers himself wanted unions to be voluntary. Shelley says it’s not a law that rests unchallenged.Almost once a decade there’s an effort to repeal the law, and in the early 1970s it came within one vote of repeal. Shelley says that’s when the group formed to bolster the right-to-work law and see that it remains on the books. Right-to-work advocates don’t favor project labor agreements like the one negotiated for the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.He says it forces non-union workers to go into union hiring halls to get jobs, and was negotiated by government officials and unions, without any vote by the workers. Shelley says he isn’t against labor unions. He says workers should have every right to join a labor union, but shouldn’t be forced to join. And as proof that they can co-exist, Shelley says Iowa has the highest rate of union membership of any right-to-work state in the country.
You are here: / / May Day is also Labor Day for many countries