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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Right To Work States, A Little Bit Of A Rant

Since tomorrow is test day, I have no lesson plan to post today. We test every Friday, so I know if material learned was retained. Tomorrow is also Library Day. So today is going to be a bit of a venting session for me. Let me give a little bit of background first. I am from NY state. I lived there, most of my life, as well as Chicago for a short time. I worked full time, my whole life, until I had my second child, so I have some experience in the work force. We moved to Florida, because my mother moved here to help in the pain she suffered from Fibromyalgia. Her friend, that was here with her, passed away, leaving her all alone. We made the choice to move here, so she was not here all alone.

I have no idea how many right to work states there really are, but they stink. What does right to work mean, it means exactly that, you have a right to work and that is your only right. Yes they have to follow Federal Laws for minimum wages, and OSHA standards, but aside from that Florida Labor Laws basically do not exist. There are two Florida Labor Laws, one you have to be paid for every minute that you worked, it can take months to get it, but that is a right. Second, you have to be paid overtime, if you work overtime. Right to work means, basically you can be treated like crap, and there isnt a thing you can do about it. You can be fired at any time, for any reason. They can cut your wages, at any time, change your work hours, at any time, basically treat you like crap with absolutely no accountability at all. I see no benefit to being a right to work state, other than for the employer. I have never seen so many people get fired, in all my years of working, both from my job and my husbands job. My husband has worked at this current job, for almost a year. They have fired almost the entire staff, and have had 3 different managers in that time. They change his hours of work, and days of work, almost monthly. They will be changing it again next month, to make him be the assistant manager, at another place, with no more pay, alot more headaches, and yet again a new schedule. I am sure you can imagine what a pain this is. You can not ever make plans to do anything, at least not in advance, because you never know if they are going to change your schudule. They dont ever want to give raises, yet they expect you to bend over and kiss their a**es, if you do get overtime they will give you another day off, so they dont have to pay overtime, which is against the one of two laws this state has, but no one stands up to it because they dont want to be fired. Well frankly, I can be a wallflower if it suits my needs, but can be a barracuda, if I need to. I am tired of the good old boy, treat me like a rug and like it mentality, be a good a** kisser, and you can keep your job bull, of this right to work crap. I know there is a push, for the right to work status, of Florida to be changed. I am ready to jump on that band wagon. If anyone knows of who is running the push, or who to contact I would love to know. I will be researching it, and yes I am going to become active in it. I am sure it will be a fight, but I havent had a good fight in some time. So if anyone actually read this rant, thanks for listening, I feel better now. I wont feel completely better, until this is changed. Do you live in a right to work state? What is your experience, with it?


betchai said...

hi melissa, am sorry to hear about your mom's pain and the work condition there in florida. i admire you and your family for choosing to move to be able to help your mom and provide her company.

i am sorry, but i am not very familiar with right to work law. i do not know if connecticut (where i came from before california) and california are right to work states :( i guess that exposes my ignorance :( but i think we are highly unionized, i am not sure even, but all i know is we pay dues for our teacher's union and they are actively fighting for our raises and benefits and such. i actually am thankful for our union for some of the surprise benefits and raises, but then, still, there is no perfect working environment i guess. our education workforce also suffered lay-offs here, from the budget cut :(

the conditions you are sharing is kind of similar to the conditions in my country of origin, sad, but that's how i felt then, that the bosses tend to treat us like they owned us, so you have to be a good *** kisser to move ahead or even just keep your place.

i hope the working conditions in florida will get better. have a good weekend.

Kalilea said...

I had no idea that the situation was like that in Florida, but I guess it makes sense to me now why so many businesses like to have offices there. I think it's very important to have a sense of job security and stability - and I don't mean complacency. If people are slackers, a company should be allowed to fire them without lawsuits and such, but telling people that they can be fired at any time for any reason seems like it would just put workers on edge all the time.

Melissa said...

Coming from NY, it is very hard to adjust, to this form of treatment. I worked 18 yrs, in NY, and never for a union, and have never seen people treated the way they are here. I did find out a tid bit more of info. Right to work technically means, they cant force you to join a union, there arent any here, anyway. Work at will is the proper term for the way workers are treated. To me, it has all been clouded, and lumped together, in this state. Matter of fact one of the unit managers, at my facility, came right out and said to a group of us, right to work state means they can fire us for any reason at any time. I have already started doing some research, and if they want to keep right to work status fine, but there have got to be some labor laws that actually support laborers, in this state. Thanks for listening to my rant.

nw said...

AZ is also a right to work state. Frankly they can fire you if the boss hates you and thinks you smell funny.
Fortunately the company we work for is based out of New York and their policies & procedures are based on New York laws. And there are a few unions here (mostly electrical, telecom, etc), but otherwise, it's every man/woman for themselves. Since I've worked at this company for so long I haven't really had to worry about the fact that AZ is a right to work state, so I haven't had the need to find out what a worker's actual rights are. I think they are similar to Florida - OT payment is required if it is worked, and payment for every minute is required. Not sure what else beyond that.

Melissa said...

There are actually 22 right to work states, wow, how about that. The company I work for is also based in NY, but they do not follow NY laws, for their Florida companies. They have an extensive policy and procedure manual, that is never followed. It is ridiculous.

modernmommy said...

Oh yes, I am also unfortunate to live in a right to work state here in AZ.

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