What is a “Right-to-work-out” law?
A “Right to work out” law would prevent health clubs from forcing people to pay dues or membership fees to use the equipment, services, and facilities. Such laws would require gyms and health clubs to admit everybody, whether or not he or she pays a cent.
In other words, “right to work out” laws would allow everybody to get all the benefits of health club membership absolutely free! How cool is that?
Without a “Right-to-work-out” law, can I be forced to join a health club?
No. Membership is voluntary, like joining a union. Incidentally, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that no collective bargaining agreement can require anyone to join a union, either.
Look, you already have a “Right to work out,” and it works just like when employees don’t want to join a union: You only pay if you go to the club, they charge some fee to non-members who use the club, unless and until we get “Right to work out” laws.
Is a gym required to serve everybody now?
Why would any state need, or want, “Right-to-work-out” laws?
Great question. Obviously everybody already has the right to work out, so the name sounds good but it is a little misleading: basically, anybody who either wants to get something for nothing or just wants to drive health clubs out of business favors “Right to work out” laws, and they’re fine if most other people are confused by the name.
Do union members oppose “Right-to-work-out” laws?
These laws aren’t fair to dues-paying members. Free-loaders can use the gym, and get all the benefits that paying members get, but without paying a dime. Union members understand a fair deal helps everybody. It’s just not fair to the people who pay, or to business owners who pay for the upkeep on the equipment, and the utilities, etc., if some folks get a free pass.
Here’s the thing:
Driving up the health club’s costs by forcing them to give their services away free to some people changes the amount they have to charge everybody else, or they’ll go broke – in which case you’ll just have to find someplace else to work out (or you could throw in the towel, so to speak, and give up on the benefits of a health club.)
How would a “Right-to-work-out” law compare to so-called “Right-to-Work” proposals being suggested as a Constitutional Amendment in MN?
Well, apart from how strange it is to use our state Constitution, which is really a guiding framework and technically not the right place for any law or statute, there’s not all that much difference. Such laws aren’t fair to dues-paying members. Free-loaders would be able to use the unions training, services, and all the benefits that paying members get, but without paying a dime.
Of course, since you have a right to work already, and research shows it drives wages down for members and non-members alike by thousands of dollars per year, it’s not a very free-market approach, is it? Call it what you will, this deceptively named idea just isn’t fair to the people who do pay if the government says some folks can get a free pass.
The fact it’s got a confusing name is just to keep you from looking closely at the issue, and that’s a pretty underhanded way for elected officials to run our state.
Or maybe the Minnesota GOP lawmakers who introduced this mis-named amendment are just confused by the actual content of their bill.
This has been reposted from IUOE Local 49′s blog.
Tom Hayes wrote this piece in conjuction with Tim Olson.