There's been a lot of discussion lately about "right-to-work" states. These states, 22 at present, have "right-to-work" statutes that prevent non-union workers at a unionized company from being compelled to join the union. The statutes derive from the Taft-Hartley act, passed in the 40s in an attempt to weaken the pro-union provisions of the National Labor Relations Act. (If only conservatives had had the guts to repeal the NLRA then...)
The NLRA institutes "collective bargaining rights", requiring employers to allow unionization, negotiate with the unions, and to not recognize competing unions. In other words, the NLRA obliterates the rights of employers, primarily the right to walk away from the negotiating table and the right to fire employees. As a result of the NLRA, unions obtained
Facing the awful consequences of the NLRA, especially a sharp rise in strikes after World War II, congress decided to tinker with it. Sound familiar? Kinda like many Republican's want to repeal and replace Obamacare with something less bad. What they should have done is repeal the NLRA, recognizing that "collective bargaining" is coercion. Right-to-work was part of this package of amendments.
I don't think right-to-work is entirely bad, but it misses the point. First of all its terribly misnamed. It refers not to a right to "work," but a right to an open shop. Second, as implemented it represents a abridgment of legitimate rights, added on top of the injustice of collective bargaining. Right-to-work laws prohibit employers and employees from making a certain kind of agreement. On what grounds? The only reason for that prohibition is that employers are already compelled to negotiate with unions and we find the consequences of that intolerable. But if the consequences of collective bargaining are intolerable and the concept of collective bargaining an assault on property rights, it is collective bargaining we should eliminate.
The evil is collective bargaining. If collective bargaining was recognized for the absurdity it is, then no further restrictions on employers or employees or employee organizations would be necessary.