Together We Rise: Our Campaign to Fight the “Right-to-Work” (For Less)

Working people do better when we stick together. When we join together to form labor unions, we use our collective power to ensure that we have a voice at work – without unions, we wouldn’t be able to hold our bosses accountable and ensure that we receive fair wages, good benefits and safe working conditions.

Your union membership is an investment in the value of your work.

There’s a big difference in the pay, benefits and working conditions in a unionized workplace versus a non-union workplace. Union workers make 27% more annually than non-union workers (Bureau of Labor Statistics). That union difference is the result of our collective commitment to and investment in the value of our work. Without a union, our work and our worth would be valued at a lot less.


Public sector workers in Wisconsin learned the value of a union the hard way – in 2010 Wisconsin passed Act 10, anti-worker legislation that greatly diminished the right to collective bargaining. The CEOs and corrupt politicians behind this crusade to weaken workers’ power call their campaign the “right-to-work” – using vague and misleading language is part of their strategy. The “right-to-work” dates back to the 1930s; CEOs and corrupt politicians have been trying to keep workers down, and divide us for as long as unions have existed.

By shipping jobs overseas, outsourcing, and pushing anti-union legislation and court cases, the rich and powerful want to strip away our power to join together. The result is too many bad jobs that pay low wages that trap people in poverty. More than 64 million Americans can’t make ends meet even though they’re working as many hours as they can. Corporate CEOs are destroying the value of work in America, and when good jobs are wiped out it tears families and communities apart.

The National Right to Work Committee, the Freedom Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), all funded by the Koch Brothers, are the main players pushing modern “right-to-work” laws. This political attack waged against workers will allow employers to lower wages and take home a bigger profit. After Wisconsin went Right to Work, public sector workers suffered huge pay-cuts, slashed benefits, and took a step backwards to dangerous working conditions. In February 2018, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that will weaken the rights of working people, called Janus v. AFSCME. This means that workers in California will soon face the same fight as workers in Wisconsin.

We’re not going to let anything stop us from standing up for the rights of working people.

  • We are making our loud and proud demand for good union jobs. We will insist that politicians take action to help millions of workers join together in strong organizations to raise wages, gain healthcare coverage, get a fair return for our work, and build thriving communities. Sign up to become a Together We Rise Activist!
  • We are driving a political turnaround in key races and states in 2018 by inspiring voters around economic, racial, immigrant, and environmental justice issues. Sign up to donate to COPE, our Committee on Political Education fund. (You need to be a full union-dues paying member first, before contributing to COPE.)


1001 leaders banner

Sonia Chagollan of Kern County joined more than 100 other SEIU 521 members in pledging to fight off the attacks against workers at our Convention in October 2017. We are mobilizing 1,001 Member Leaders to build and strengthen our union.

Our labor union gives us a seat at the table. When working people form unions, we gain the power to stand up to greedy bosses, and to ensure that we get what we earn for a hard day’s work. Belonging to a union not only gives you a major advantage; it is an investment in your future and your worth, and in the well-being of your family and your community.

Learn more about the impact of Right to Work laws and declining wages, workers rights, and unionization on the economy.

View statistics on the conditions of workers in Right to Work States (like Wisconsin) vs. Free Bargaining states (like California).

Help spread the news at your worksite: Download our “right-to-work” threat and solution flyer.

Comments are closed.