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October 20, 2017
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Right To Work

Arizona is a right to work state that welcomes both union and non-union. “Right To Work” essentially means that no one can be compelled to join a union, nor can employment be withheld because of membership or non-membership in a union, and further that it is a matter of choice for employer and employee.

Right-to-work laws are statutes enforced in twenty-two U.S. States, allowed under provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act, which prohibit agreements between trade unions and employers making membership or payment of union dues or "fees" a condition of employment, either before or after hiring.

General questions regarding the State of Arizona’s labor laws can be addressed through the Attorney General’s office (www.azag.gov).

                                                                             ==The Taft-Hartley Act==
Prior to the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act by Congress of the United States Congress over President Harry S. Truman's veto in 1947, unions and employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act could lawfully agree to a "closed shop," in which employees at unionized workplaces are required to be members of the union as a condition of employment. Under the law in effect before the Taft-Hartley amendments, an employee who ceased being a member of the union for whatever reason, from failure to pay dues to expulsion from the union as an internal disciplinary punishment, could also be fired even if the employee did not violate any of the employer's rules.

The Taft-Hartley Act outlawed the "closed shop."  The Act, however, permitted employers and unions to operate under a "union shop" rule, which required all new employees to join the union after a minimum period after their hire. Under "union shop" rules, employers are obliged to fire any employees who have avoided paying membership dues necessary to maintain membership in the union; however, the union cannot demand that the employer discharge an employee who has been expelled from membership for any other reason.

A similar arrangement to the “union shop” is the “agency shop,” under which employees must pay the equivalent of union dues, but need not formally join such union.

Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act goes further and authorizes individual states (but not local governments, such as cities or counties) to outlaw the union shop and agency shop for employees working in their jurisdictions. Under the "open shop" rule, an employee cannot be compelled to join or pay the equivalent of dues to a union, nor can the employee be fired if he or she joins the union. In other words, the employee has the right to work, regardless of whether he or she is member or financial contributor to such union.

The Federal Government operates under "open shop" rules nationwide, although many of its employees are represented by unions.  Conversely, professional sports leagues (regardless of where a team is located) operate under "agency shop" rules. http://www.nflpa.org/pdfs/Agents/CBA_Amended_2006.pdf Art. V, Sec. 1.

Twenty-eight states do not have right-to-work laws.  The lack of a right-to-work law does not mean an employee has to join a union if none is formed in his workplace. The provisions in right to work laws, as in South Dakota's for example, can give the state Attorney General power to investigate allegations against unions.




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