“Right to Work” is Morally Wrong

I just signed the following petition for Michigan:

Subject: “Right to Work” is Wrong for Michigan


Recently, with over 22,000 protesters outside the Indiana Statehouse, Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a so-called “right-to-work” bill into law.

Here in Michigan, a group of extreme Lansing politicians are trying to pass a similar bill.

Let’s call this what it is – a blatant power grab by corporate special interests that will give more profits to greedy CEOs at the expense of our jobs, our retirement security, and our kids’ future.

It’s not often that we agree with Gov. Snyder, but during recent testimony on Capitol Hill, Snyder said “right-to-work” is “a very divisive issue,” and that “I don’t believe it’s appropriate in Michigan during 2012.”

With Michigan’s unemployment rate at 9.3-percent, we can’t afford to waste time on controversial policies like “right-to-work”, which have failed to create jobs in other states.

That’s why I signed a petition to The Michigan State House, The Michigan State Senate, and Governor Rick Snyder, which says:

“As a taxpayer and middle class worker, I strongly oppose any effort to make Michigan a so-called “right-to-work” state.

The legislation, supported by Rep. Mike Shirkey and Sen. Pat Colbeck, will give even more profits to greedy CEOs at the expense of our jobs, our retirement security, and our kids’ future.

Numerous economic studies have shown that these unfair laws won’t create jobs and will weaken the middle class. Even Governor Snyder has said he doesn’t want Michigan to become a “right-to-work” state.

To protect Michigan workers, please vote NO on the so-called “right-to-work” bill.”

Will you sign this petition? Click here:



I added the following additional comments of my own:

“Right to Work” means “Right to Impose Injustice” on workers. Such laws have as their not-so-hidden agenda the destruction of due process rights of employees.

Anyone who supports “Right to Work” supports what is utterly morally reprehensible.

Demonstrate that you have some moral backbone and vote NO on this legislation.

Caterpillar has just closed, or perhaps it is about to close, a factory in Canada to move its operations to Muncie, Indiana, if I recall correctly from reading the news on line today. I believe the Market Ticker may have had an article posted today about that.

This is an example of a corporation making use of wage arbitrage at the expense of its workers. The wage scale for workers newly hired in Indiana will be about half the wages that were being paid to the workers in Canada.

I am in favor of moving all jobs back to the United States that were off-shored or sent across the border. But we need to find a way to be sure employees are paid a living wage. Even the Bible requires that (Jeremiah +*22:13).

On the surface bringing these jobs to Indiana sounds like a plus for Indiana. But the social costs that will and must be borne by Indiana citizens will actually become a drag on its economy, for lower wage workers (by today’s standards) must depend for more government services, whether medical care, food stamps, or other services, like reduced-price school lunches.

No doubt the local government in Indiana had to provide incentives to encourage Caterpillar to move there. But this comes at a cost of considerable tax dollars to the government, which will have to pay for added infrastructure to support the new factory.

But the issue I would bring up is another piece of news about Indiana that I heard in the last week or two that reported that Indiana is the first “rust belt state” to adopt “Right to Work” legislation.

I have written here before, and argued here before, that “right to work” legislation is a misnomer. It is contrary to the Biblical standards of justice taught in the Bible. Go back to your Bible and read Malachi 3:5, and check out the cross references I posted recently for that verse in my article, “Politics and the Bible.”

Mal 3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.

When “Right to Work” is the law, employees suffer because there is often no right to “due process.” This means employees may be terminated at will for no reason (violating Colossians 4:1). This means workers can and will be required to work longer hours without additional pay (violating Jeremiah 22:13 and related passages given in the cross references of The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge or Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible).

I have been working diligently on expanding the cross references available for Real Bible Study, and have now gotten as far as Matthew 13. That is why I have had to slow down on doing anything else beyond the work on my very large project. On February 20 I will have logged two years of work on the project, and it looks like the work on the New Testament may take two years more, but only time will tell. It has been a very interesting and delightful study of God’s Word for me.

I hope all of you will take the time to do some serious, independent reading of your Bible. It will do your soul an eternity of good!

It is never too late to begin your own daily reading of the Bible! Just do it! Start in the New Testament and read it for at least 20 minutes a day. Some days you can work in more reading time. While reading the Bible through in a year is commendable, it is probably even better to start with a less ambitious reading plan. In this case, to a degree, less will mean more for those just beginning to read the Bible seriously for themselves. Don’t rush it, enjoy it!

If a whole lot more of us were reading, believing, and obeying the Bible, this world would become a place where more morality prevailed.

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11 Responses to “Right to Work” is Morally Wrong

  1. ken sagely says:

    hello jerry great points on importance of reading the bible, heb 4/12 says for the word of god is quick, and powerful,and sharper than any twoedged sword,piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,and of the joints and marrow,and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. ken

  2. A. Way says:

    Some believe that the only ones that oppress workers are the employer. Not true. Many (most?) the resort to force to get they way, to enforce their “rights”. Zechariah 4:6 NRSV He said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the LORD of hosts.
    Psalms 112:1-10
    (1) Praise the LORD! Happy is the person who honors the LORD, who takes pleasure in obeying his commands.
    “All His comments”, such as “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Leviticus 19:18

    (2) The good man’s children will be powerful in the land; his descendants will be blessed.
    (3) His family will be wealthy and rich, and he will be prosperous forever.
    This is not talking about money. It is talking about character. Or character is the only thing we take to the next world.

    (4) Light shines in the darkness for good people, for those who are merciful, kind, and just.
    (5) Happy is the person who is generous with his loans, who runs his business honestly.
    Running business is from both sides, the employer and employee.

    (6) A good person will never fail; he will always be remembered.
    (7) He is not afraid of receiving bad news; his faith is strong, and he trusts in the LORD.
    (8) He is not worried or afraid; he is certain to see his enemies defeated.
    (9) He gives generously to the needy, and his kindness never fails; he will be powerful and respected.

    (10) The wicked see this and are angry; they glare in hate and disappear; their hopes are gone forever.
    Watch!!! It’s true.

  3. Jerry says:

    Dear A. Way,

    You are correct: “Running business is from both sides, the employer and employee.”

    Both have responsibilities discussed in the Bible. I have listed the responsibilities for both employer and employee in the Topic Number Index of The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, Topic Numbers 1821-1873 on pages 1603 and 1604.

    This information is in the print edition of The New Treasury, but the Topic Number Index was unwisely omitted from the electronic/digital software version.

    I will attempt to “Copy and Paste” this portion of that index from my own files below:

    Business Responsibilities

    1822. Honor your commitments. 2 C +8:21.
    1823. Be prompt. Pr +10:26.
    1824. Respect the customer. Pr +12:22.
    1825. Show no partiality. Pr 28:21.
    1826. Avoid encumbering personal obligations (debts). Pr 22:7.
    1827. Avoid patronage, kick-backs, tips. Pr 17:23.
    1828. Pay your bills (on time, promptly). Ps +37:21.
    1829. Be careful and accurate. Pr 18:9.
    1830. Get the facts, face realities. Pr 18:13.
    1831. Use statistics wisely. Pr 27:23.
    1832. Be alert. Pr 20:12.
    1833. Know your limitations. 2 P 2:17.
    1834. Pay the price for wisdom. Pr 17:16.
    1835. Show teamwork. Ro 12:4.
    1836. Don’t tolerate “yes men.” Pr 12:15.
    1837. Be constant. Pr +28:20.
    1838. Find contentment in work. 2 Th 3:10.
    1839. Be loyal to your company/employer. Ep 6:6.
    1840. Know your business. Pr 22:29.
    1841. Be qualified. Pr 25:14.
    1842. Keep the lines straight: follow organizational protocol, the “line of command.” 1 C 14:40.
    1843. Be realistic and conservative in your proposals for action. Do your “homework” well. Pr 2:2.
    1844. Alert employer of potential problems. Pr 22:3.
    1845. Demonstrate commitment. Ro 12:11.
    1846. Give credit to worthy executive leadership. Is 10:15.

    Responsibilities to the employee

    1847. Give credit when it is due. Pr 3:27.
    1848. Set an example. Ro 2:21.
    1849. Be considerate. Ep 6:9.
    1850. Be just. Col 4:1.
    1851. Honor contracts, agreements. Col 4:1.
    1852. Pay adequate wages. Je *22:13.
    1853. Pay wages on time. Le +*19:13.
    1854. Be open to advice, suggestions, criticism. 1 S +*25:17.
    1855. Provide safe working conditions. Pr 12:10.
    1856. Be willing to change and improve procedures when past or present practices fail to solve the problem. Ac 6:3.
    1857. Exercise diligence. Ro 12:8.

    For young people starting a career

    1858. Have a clear purpose in life. Ec 9:10.
    1859. Don’t be a person with much zeal and little knowledge. Pr +17:28.
    1860. Do not steal time. Pr 12:24.
    1861. Pay your own freight (be self-supporting, not a burden to others). 2 Th 3:8.
    1862. Do not pamper young Christians. Lk 22:36.

    Responsibilities of Christian Students

    1863. Be industrious. 2 Th 3:10.
    1864. Be responsible. 1 T 5:8.
    1865. Have a sense of duty toward your work. Ep 6:7.
    1866. Do more than is required. Lk 17:10.
    1867. Be faithful even in small matters. Lk 16:10.
    1868. Exploit your business experience. Pr 10:4.
    1869. Train to be a servant. Mt 20:28.

    Responsibilities toward God

    1870. Justify from God’s viewpoint your place in business. Ps 127:1.
    1871. Commit facts to God in faith (“Going out on faith” not a substitute for common sense and good judgment). 1 J 5:4.
    1872. Pray about your business. Ja +1:5.
    1873. Act like a Christian. Col 2:6.
    1874. Set not your heart upon riches. 1 T 6:8.

    It looks from here that the information transferred properly. This should certainly make for much good Real Bible Study for anyone and everyone who will set aside time to study God’s Word and check out each of these topical Bible references and read the associated cross references given for each.

  4. A. Way says:

    So again, you concept of “Right to work” legislation is very one-sided. Perhaps because you were on one side. There are faithful, responsible, trustworthy employers out there. There are corrupt, imposing, threatening, unions out there. Your pro-union stance can not be substantiated from scripture. I do like your references above, but let the reader understand the categories they are listed in are arbitrary, and can be applied to both employers and employees.

    1861. Pay your own freight (be self-supporting, not a burden to others). 2 Th 3:8. How does that fit your union stance? Interesting… 2 Thessalonians 3:8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nothing; but worked with labor and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:

  5. Jerry says:

    Dear A. Way,

    I am not fully satisfied with the categories either, and hope, Lord willing and enabling, to have the time to improve them. I saw that too as I made the post.

    Your pro-union stance can not be substantiated from scripture.

    I have already thoroughly substantiated my stance from Scripture in full support of my pro-union stance.

    I wrote extensively about that before, and you can find what I wrote in the Archives here.

    Remember that in that post I quoted my own father, who told me, “The only reason we need unions is because of bad management.”

    It sounds to me like you are not in favor of establishing and enforcing rights to due process. If this were to be your stance, your stance is contrary to the Bible.

    Very clearly today, those at large who support so-called “right to work” legislation are actually forwarding their agenda to remove due process rights gained only through long work and sacrifice on the part of unions who rightly stood for these issues of justice.

    The issue that there are some bad features in some unions has no bearing at all on the argument. The issue at stake is are we to stand for the principles of Biblical justice, or the contrary.

    The Bible has much to say about this theme. It speaks to this theme far more often than it does to the issue of the rights of the unborn. But that is not to diminish the significance of either, only to point out that some Christians are informed of the one and not the other. They both need and must learn to do Real Bible Study for themselves, on their own, from the Bible itself.

    To take a stand against Biblical justice is to place yourself in a very awkward position if you claim to be a Bible believing Christian, for sure!

  6. A. Way says:

    No – your stance is very one sided. Perhaps because you were only on the one side? I don’t know. The operative principle in the Bible is to “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Unions and management both, and perhaps most of the time, take advantage of their power to force the other side’s hand to match their own agenda. Labor unions by the majority violate the precepts of the Decalog.

    “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself” (Luke 10:27). These words sum up the whole duty of man. They mean the consecration of the whole being–body, soul, and spirit–to God’s service. How can men obey these words and at the same time pledge themselves to support that which deprives their neighbors of freedom of action? And how can men obey these words and form combinations that rob the poorer classes of the advantages which justly belong to them, preventing them from buying or selling, except under certain conditions? How plainly the words of God have predicted this condition of things. John writes, “I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. . . . And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” Revelation 13:11-17

  7. Jerry says:

    My stance is hardly one-sided. I have surely shared with you what the Bible teaches on this theme, likely more Biblical referencing to these issues than you are likely to come upon any where else.

    I have clearly shown that both employers and employees have responsibilities laid out quite clearly in Scripture.

    There is NO justification for employers to require employees to work longer hours without also increasing the amount the employees receive for the work. I filed a grievance once with a title something like “Administrators do not know how to tell time.”

    There is NO justification for employers to delay paying their workers. Workers must be paid on time. I filed and won a grievance about that, too.

    There is NO justification for employers to arbitrarily change the conditions of work in violation of previously reached agreements with the employees.

    The Bible clearly MANDATES that we all fulfill our agreements. See Psalm 15:4,

    Psa 15:4 He despises a reprobate,
    but honors the LORD’s loyal followers.
    He makes firm commitments and does not renege on his promise. (NET Bible)

    Yet there are even now some states passing “Right (not) to Work” legislation for the very purpose of getting around contract agreements. This is a flagrant violation of Scripture, and those who support this injustice could well be in very big trouble in the light of what Psalm 15 is about, as stated in Psalm 15:1,

    Psa 15:1 A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
    Psa 15:2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
    Psa 15:3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
    Psa 15:4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
    Psa 15:5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

    Contracts have expiration dates. Often contracts are agreed to for one year, or perhaps as long as three years. If conditions change during that time, both sides may agree to renegotiate. But if not, the suffering is not interminable. But for employers or governments to arbitrarily rewrite the contract to their liking apart from agreement with the employees during a contract period violates Biblical principle that a moral person lives up to an agreement even if it hurts, “He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.”

    If an employee violates the contract, there is a process provided in the contract that the employer may follow to secure redress of any grievances the employer may have against the employee. But the provisions in the contract are there to guide and protect due process. Very often management is lazy or incompetent, and would rather short-circuit the due process procedure and punish or even fire an employee on a whim. Such a stance on the part of an employer represents injustice to the worker.

    Clearly the balance of power is held by the employer. It often is a balance that works unjustly. There always need to be checks and balances. Unions serve this vital need in the interest of insuring that employees are treated fairly.

    Apparently you have no experience on that side of the equation. I do. I write from personal, first-hand experience over many years as the union representative for the teachers at Southeastern High School and at Denby High School in Detroit.

    I have written many grievances in behalf of my teachers. I do not recall that I have ever lost a single grievance. My employer knew absolutely that I told the truth, I kept meticulous written records of all that went on, and always had more thorough documentation than they could muster. I can write better, write faster, argue more clearly and persuasively than their whole teams of administrators with their secretaries.

  8. A. Way says:

    The difference between you and me is that you believe that you can take what you think is yours by force. In labor union parlance, this is called a “strike”. A strike only works if it caused hardships, and these hardships often have collateral damage. Take for example a strike by garbage collectors. Romans 13:10 Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. One can not strike and keep the 10 commandments.

  9. A. Way says:

    The Unions got their way with Hostess. They have forced their employer, that is prevented their employer from changing their contract offer. In fact, they have forced their employer to stop paying all their employees. The company is being liquidated, with the loss of 18,000 jobs, with loss of income and pensions. Great work!

  10. Jerome Smith says:

    Dear A. Way,

    I understand there will be no more “Twinkies” and no more Hostess Cup Cakes.

    From a dietary standpoint, that may end up to be a good thing.

    But I agree with you. The union stood its ground but lost all the jobs for the employees it represents. This may be a case of a union and its members failing to “think first.”

    When this happens, both sides lose. But we do not have the full story, I would suppose, so we do not know the full details of all that happened in or during the process and why.

    The marketplace, if left to itself, will prove self-correcting, as in this case.

    Now when the banksters cheated, and nearly crashed the economy, they got bailed out when clearly they should not have been. Operating on the basis of fraud, cover-up, lies, and theft is no basis upon which to do business. Had the banks been permitted to suffer from the results of their own greed and folly, their loss would have been our gain. As it has so far turned out, we have been guilty as a nation of curing the drunk by offering him more whiskey. Instead, we should have let the Bible principle of reaping and sowing take its due course to punish those who try to cheat us all by gaming the system in their favor by buying off politicians with campaign contributions. Then the politicians dutifully pass legislation in favor of the banksters to allow them to get away with risky behavior by backstopping their stupidity with taxpayer’s dollars.

    I think there is a New Testament extension of the Tenth Commandment regarding “Thou shalt not covet” in Romans, chapter 7. Often both sides are most guilty of violating this principle.

  11. A. Way says:

    You mean you are beginning to see my point about coveting and the work of unions? Wow!

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