New York City Council Header
File #: Res 1445-2017    Version: * Name: Congress to vote against proposed “right-to-work” legislation.
Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Committee: Committee on Civil Service and Labor
On agenda: 4/25/2017
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution urging Congress to vote against proposed "right-to-work" legislation
Sponsors: I. Daneek Miller, Daniel Dromm , Ben Kallos, Karen Koslowitz, Margaret S. Chin, Mark Treyger
Council Member Sponsors: 6
Attachments: 1. Res. No. 1445, 2. Committee Report 4/19/17, 3. Hearing Testimony 4/19/17, 4. Hearing Transcript 4/19/17, 5. April 25, 2017 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 6. Committee Report 5/22/17, 7. Hearing Transcript 5/22/17, 8. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 5-24-17, 9. Minutes of the Recessed Stated Meeting of May 10, 2017 held on May 24, 2017, 10. Minutes of the Stated Meeting - May 24, 2017, 11. Minutes of the Recessed Stated Meeting of May 24, 2017 held on June 6, 2017
Date Ver.Prime SponsorAction ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsMultimedia
5/24/2017*I. Daneek Miller City Council Approved, by CouncilPass Action details Meeting details Not available
5/22/2017*I. Daneek Miller Committee on Civil Service and Labor Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
5/22/2017*I. Daneek Miller Committee on Civil Service and Labor Approved by CommitteePass Action details Meeting details Not available
4/25/2017*I. Daneek Miller City Council Referred to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/25/2017*I. Daneek Miller City Council Introduced by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/19/2017*I. Daneek Miller Committee on Civil Service and Labor Hearing on P-C Item by Comm  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/19/2017*I. Daneek Miller Committee on Civil Service and Labor P-C Item Laid Over by Comm  Action details Meeting details Not available

Preconsidered Res. No. 1445

 

Resolution urging Congress to vote against proposed “right-to-work” legislation

 

By Council Members Miller, Dromm, Kallos, Koslowitz, Chin and Treyger

                     Whereas, Twenty-seven states currently have “right-to-work” (RTW) laws, including rust-belt states such as Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan; and

                     Whereas, No worker can be forced to become a dues-paying member of a union, but he or she can be compelled to pay “agency fees,” which partially cover the costs of collective bargaining; and

                     Whereas, RTW laws make agency fees optional, thereby creating a downward spiral for unions, which exist to secure higher wages and safe working conditions for their members; and

                     Whereas, Although federal law requires unions to bargain on behalf of all employees irrespective of  membership, RTW laws allow individuals to avoid agency fees while they continue to receive the wage premiums and pension contributions for which unions have negotiated; and

                     Whereas, As workers are incentivized to leave, it becomes harder for unions to survive; and

                     Whereas, Union membership has plummeted in a number of states following the passage of RTW legislation; and 

                     Whereas, According to the Wisconsin State Journal, union membership fell in that state by nearly 40 percent between 2010, before the passage of RTW legislation, and 2016; and

                     Whereas, Michigan followed a similar pattern; and

Whereas, The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that union membership dropped from 633,000 Michigan workers to 585,000 in 2014, a decline of 7.5 percent in the first full year under the new law; and

                     Whereas, Statistics from BLS also indicate that, nationwide, union membership has fallen from 20.1 percent of wage and salary workers in 1983 to 10.7 percent in 2016; and

                     Whereas, According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), as unionization has declined, so has the share of income earned by the middle 60 percent of families; and

                     Whereas, There is little evidence to suggest that RTW laws produce superior economic conditions or increase wages; and

                     Whereas, In 2016, RTW states had three of the five highest state unemployment rates; and

                     Whereas, Additionally, according to the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), nine out of the bottom 10 states in terms of per-capita income do not have collective bargaining in the public sector; and

                     Whereas, Several academic studies, including one authored by Lawrence Mishel, a University of Wisconsin economist, have found that deunionization causes at least 20 percent of wage inequality and that unionization increases wages and benefits, by roughly 28 percent; and

                     Whereas, A 2015 EPI report found that wages in RTW states are 3.2 percent lower per year on average than wages in other states; and

                     Whereas, Despite this negative impact on wages, proposed legislation in both the House of Representatives (H.R. 785) and the Senate (S.545) would establish RTW nationwide; and 

                      Whereas, RTW hurts the workers it purports to help by compromising their ability to collectively bargain, and it has not improved macroeconomic conditions; and

                     Whereas, Implementing it nationally would jeopardize the economic security of millions of Americans; now, therefore, be it

                     Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York urges Congress to vote against proposed “right to work” legislation

 

LS#10237

4/7/17

MK