Thunderclaps have an echo; the bigger the boom, the bigger the reverberation.
On November 8, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, revealing the smarty-pants set in Washington DC to be not so smart after all. Ten days later, on November 18, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a bombshell decision that revealed pretty much the same thing.
The case revolved around the right of localities to pass so-called “right-to-work” laws, which allow workers to opt out of union membership and dues. Federal law provides that states may pass such laws under an amendment to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). To date, 26 states have done so, most recently West Virginia.
But there is also an economic motive: Right-to-work is a powerful attractant to business development. Although unions are free to organize in right-to-work areas, it is often a more risky and expensive proposition for them to do so. Employers know they are less likely to be burdened with costly labor contracts in right-to-work locales, and so value such protections when looking to locate new facilities. As the president of one site-selection consulting firm put it: