Florida’s “Right to Work’ guarantee

08/31/2014 7:00 PM

08/31/2014 5:27 PM

Charlie Crist stated that if elected governor, he would revisit Florida’s Right to Work Law. But I’m confused as to why.

Crist’s comments and the accolades it received indicate lingering confusion as to what our “Right to Work” status means. It is not a prohibition against unions or their ability to seek members. It does not interfere with the ability of those who participate in labor organizations to have their voices heard. If anything, it provides protection for those wishing to collectively bargain to do so.

Florida’s Constitution says, “The right of employees, by and through a labor organization, to bargain collectively shall not be denied or abridged.” Why should there be celebrations at the mere mention of giving our status another look?

Not only is Florida one of 24 “right to work” states, it is also at the top of the list for job creation and economic growth. The freedoms we provide to workers are one of the reasons that businesses continue to pick up from other parts of the country and move here.

This Labor Day, let’s be thankful that we live in a state that protects our rights as workers to make our own decisions, to be free from employee mandates as prerequisites to employment and to collectively bargain should we choose to do so.

Peter Dyga, president and CEO, Associated Builders and Contractors Florida East Coast Chapter, Coconut Creek

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