The racist roots of ‘right to work’ laws

In light of the right-to-work law recently rushed into law in Michigan, Chris Kromm at Facing South looks at the history of right-to-work and its white-supremacist roots.

This week, Republican lawmakers in Michigan — birthplace of the United Auto Workers and, more broadly, the U.S. labor movement — shocked the nation by becoming the 24th state to pass “right-to-work” legislation, which allows non-union employees to benefit from union contracts.

While Michigan’s momentous decision has received widespread media attention, little has been said about the origins of “right-to-work” laws, which find their roots in extreme pro-segregationist and anti-communist elements in the 1940s South.

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