'Right to Work' for Less Laws Have Racist Origins
aflcio.org — Last week, after Michigan became the latest state to pass "right to work" for less legislation, many began to dig into the history of such laws and discovered that one of the earliest pushes for "right to work" came from an extreme right-wing activist Vance Muse, who was staunchly anti-communist, anti-integration and anti-union. Muse was the leader of the Christian American Association, an organization that fought to pass "right to work" in more than a dozen states in the 1940s. Working with conservative business leaders and segregationist groups, the Christian American Association first pushed for so-called "anti-violence" laws that were designed to clamp down on picketing by unions. After they successfully passed that law in Texas and in other Southern states, they moved on to "right to work" in 1945, passing the first such law in Texas in 1947. In Florida and Arkansas, the Christian American Association used messaging that compared union growth to race-mixing and communism.