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Virginia’s long-standing right-to-work law has encouraged strong economic growth and job creation in the Commonwealth, made us the best state for business, and fostered a business environment friendly to both job creators and job seekers.

Virginians for Employee Free Choice is a coalition of employers and employees from businesses large and small from across the Commonwealth dedicated to preserving Virginia’s Right-to-Work law.

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Overturning or changing right-to-work would negatively impact employers and employees in Virginia. But this General Assembly Session there is a real possibility that for the first time our right-to-work law could be changed. It is crucial that right-to-work remains in Virginia for job growth, business competitiveness, and to keep a friendly business environment not just for businesses but for workers too.

What is right-to-work?

Right-to-work allows a worker to go to work and do their job without being forced to join a union. Right-to-work laws do not prohibit unions from organizing in Virginia. In fact, the National Labor Relations Act protects the rights of workers in right-to-work states to unionize. Without right-to-work law protections, workers would be forced to pay dues, or a fee for not participating, as a condition of employment.

Virginia is one of 27 states that currently have right-to-work laws. And, 71% of voters nationwide say they would vote for right-to-work laws. Support for right-to-work has steadily increased over time, according to a 2014 Gallup poll.

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How does right-to-work affect job growth?

Right-to-work laws are crucial to maintaining Virginia’s competitiveness. Virginia re-gained the top state for business by CNBC this year, due in part to right-to-work. This law positively impacts our position in major business climate rankings.

Companies consider right-to-work laws as a major component in deciding where to locate or expand. Changing our law would put Virginia at a competitive disadvantage to all of the states we compete with for economic development. Companies looking to expand to Virginia will look at other states to set up operations if our right-to-work law is changed.

How does right-to-work affect workers?

Right-to-work laws also positively impact employees. Personal incomes in right-to-work states grew by 39% from 2001-2016, while non-right-to-work states only grew by 26%, based on a study by the NERA

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