As you know, Virginia is a so-called “right-to-work” state, or as Leslie Byrne calls it the “right-to-be-poor.” For whatever reason, and it’s difficult for me to comprehend why, there are Democrats who actually support these godawful laws, which among other things “restrict freedom of association by prohibiting workers and employers from agreeing to contracts that include fair share fees, and so create a free rider problem…[and also] lead to lower wages and worse safety and health conditions for workers.”
How bad are these laws? A 2011 study by the Economic Policy Institute found that: 1) “Wages in right-to-work states are 3.2% lower than those in non-RTW states”; 2) “The rate of employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) is 2.6 percentage points lower in RTW states compared with non-RTW states” and 3) “The rate of employer-sponsored pensions is 4.8 percentage points lower in RTW states.”
In sum, President Obama is absolutely correct that so-called “right-to-work” laws really mean the “right to make less money” for employees. Of course, the corporations make out quite nicely, which is why they spend so much money lobbying and pushing for states to enact these laws. That should tell you all you need to know.
P.S. For more information on the negative impact of these Orwellian “right-to-work” laws, see What “Right to Work” Would Mean for Michigan (e.g., “while promoting free association and individual liberty sound noble, the use of such concepts to advance RTW legislation belie a less lofty motive: to undermine the economic and political power of wage-earners”)