Master's Theses


Economics, Finance, & Accounting

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The topic of right to work laws is the number one labor relations issue at the present. The subject represents a conflict between two principles of human rights--individual rights v. group rights or rights of the majority. The right to work controversy revolves around the question of whether a worker should be required to become and remain a member of a labor union as a condition of employment. Right to work laws provide that membership or non-membership in a labor union shall not be a qualification or bar to obtaining or retaining employment. It must be remembered that right to work laws are state and not Federal laws. These laws now in effect in nineteen states have come upon the labor relations scene during the post war years since the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act. It was the purpose of this thesis to define the right to work issue and show it in the light of existing labor legislation; to examine and compare basic pro and con arguments over right to work laws; to show effects of right to work laws; and to present the information in such a way that the reader himself can form his own opinion in regard to the right to work laws. This is intended to be a general study of the problem. Debate over these right to work laws has been bitter. The arguments made by the opponents are highly colored with propaganda. States are authorized to enact a right to work law by Section 14 (b) of the Taft -Hartley Act. This is the only area where the Federal preemption doctrine has not been applied. Right to work will probably continue to be an issue of utmost importance and of great controversy in the future.


Committee Chair

Date of Award

Spring 1959

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1959 William Berl Lenz


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