Right to Work is Wrong for Sussex County

December 22, 2017

I am a longtime Sussex County resident and I proudly serve our community as a certified nursing assistant at a local nursing home. That’s why I’ve been so astonished that some of our county politicians would consider a deceptively named, damaging law known as “right to work.”

Right to Work is Wrong; it’s wrong for Sussex County, it’s wrong for Delaware. The bill would hurt our community, as it has hurt countless other communities. I support the right of our community members to negotiate with their bosses as they see fit. Freedom means that we are free to come together and address our concerns on the job. Right to Work is Wrong; it ends that freedom and in the process, it lowers all of our residents’ wages - union and nonunion workers.

The median income for workers in Right to Work is Wrong states is $620 less per month. That’s $620 less per month that you or I can spend on groceries, doctor bills, buying a new car or just going out to dinner once in a while. Folks in our community are being squeezed enough right now. I don’t see why anyone thinks it’s a good idea to make us struggle harder.

Our Sussex County families are trying to pay their bills and put food on the table. We work hard and we play by the rules here. But when you change the rules in order to make life harder on one group of residents, it actually hurts all our community members. Taking that amount of money out of the pockets of our neighbors takes money out of our local businesses too. Less wages for workers means less spending at local businesses. And that hurts us all.

Implementing this ill-advised law would also undermine our ability to maintain safe working conditions. Maintaining safe staffing levels in the nursing home where I work is not only fair for me and my colleagues, it also allows us to provide the level of care that our residents want and deserve. So-called Right to Work laws hurt everyone in our communities and, in my case, it can be a matter of life and death.

Politicians here in Sussex County are introducing Right to Work is Wrong because they claim it’ll attract businesses and bring jobs. They’re wrong. Businesses don’t want to come to a county where the residents don’t have the ability to purchase their products.

Here in Sussex County, we actually want to bring more jobs and to stimulate the economy. We want to encourage businesses to call Sussex County home, and we want these businesses to succeed - whether that be by opening, expanding or relocating here.

Businesses want to come to states, cities and townships that invest in their communities and education for kids. They want to locate where workers are trained, safe and highly-skilled. Businesses want the communities they operate in to be strong and vibrant.

We’re not going to try to attract businesses with the made-up promises of Right to Work is Wrong; they already know that this law weakens communities, and we have seen what it does in other places that have passed it.

Darrus Finney, CNA
Lewes nursing home

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