Mohave County
May 2024
Volume 24 Issue 3

Oct 2023 | October 2023 | 0 comments

Arizona considers repeal of ‘Right to Work’ laws in proposed constitutional amendment

October 2023 | 0 comments

October 2023

ARIZONA – A proposed constitutional amendment seeks to overturn Arizona’s longstanding “Right to Work” law. If successful, this amendment, known as the “Arizona Works Together Act,” would repeal Article XXV of the state constitution, which currently states that no one should be denied employment due to non-membership in a labor organization.
“Right to Work” laws exist in 26 other states. These laws prohibit agreements between unions and employers that require all workers, including non-union members, to contribute to the costs of union operations. The premise is that if a union negotiates wages and benefits for all workers, everyone should share in the cost, regardless of union membership.
The proposed amendment argues for promoting economic security, freedom of association, freedom of speech, and the freedom to organize collective actions for common interests. Supporters of the amendment believe that “Right to Work” laws do not protect or create jobs but instead protect the interests of large corporations at the expense of workers. They contend that these laws lead to lower wages for workers.
Article XXV, titled “Right to Work,” was approved by Arizona voters in 1946. To get this proposed amendment on the ballot in 2024, the group “Arizona Works Together” needs to collect a minimum of 383,923 valid signatures by July 3, 2024. This deadline is consistent for all proposed amendments during this election cycle.
The business community in Arizona staunchly opposes the initiative. They argue that the proposed amendment threatens the state’s economy and could deter companies from relocating to Arizona. Business leaders emphasize that the choice to join or not join a union should remain with the employee, and they assert that Arizona is a pro-employee choice state.
While the initiative aims to repeal the constitutional provision, it does not address a separate statutory provision with nearly identical language, which was adopted two years after the constitutional amendment. Overcoming opposition from business groups and legal challenges is expected to be a significant hurdle for supporters of the amendment.
The proposed amendment to repeal Arizona’s “Right to Work” status has ignited a contentious debate between labor unions, worker advocates, and the business community. The outcome of this effort could have far-reaching implications for workers’ rights, business operations, and economic dynamics in the state. As the campaign unfolds, stakeholders on both sides will likely intensify their efforts to sway public opinion and influence the final decision.
– Jeremy Webb

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