Opposition to "right to work" has nothing to do with concern over the vanishing middle class. That's the polite, nice reason we're going to use.
The reason I say this is because the unions hate the middle class. They hate the middle class because they hate capitalism, and they hate "the system", and they hate anyone who is not a union hack like them.
These are people who are opposed to the very way we live here in this country. Remember that they are perfectly capable of looking the other way when lunatics like Mugabe, Chavez, Castro, Pol Pot, Ahmadinejad, Mao, and Tito were or are doing their thing. Left-wing dictatorship is preferable to capitalism. Religious fundamentalism that is not Christianity or Judaism is preferable to capitalism. Anything that dismantles privilege, by whatever means necessary, is preferable to capitalism. And they can very easily bottle up that hatred and use it for political purposes, entirely divorced from anything related to social justice.
To the union leadership, everything to the right of them is fascism. Including the middle class, who may have no political leanings whatsoever. Including, as it seems, other unions who aren't as Kool-Aidy. But if it's good PR to put on a happy face, they'll do it. They pretend that they're the defenders of the middle class, and not so subtly imply that the middle class owes their living to them.
Except we know that it's all just a put-on, because if you get these guys talking you'll find they are no big fans of the middle class.....or of minorities, or of women, or of people of different orientations, or anyone who isn't like them. It's true, everyone: blue collar dudes don't have the most enlightened social views, union or not. I know- I was shocked too to find that out. So, it seems, was Joy Taylor, who complained about Adam Giambrone stomping on a person of colour just so he could place third in Scarborough Guildwood last year.
So I am just a tiny bit skeptical of unions who claim to be speaking out for their members. Especially since we never hear from the members, do we? There is always a pre-appointed spokesperson. Always ways of ensuring compliance from stragglers and scabs. Your basic union dudebro may be in part a decent fellow, but never when the higher-ups are around. It's pretty easy to scare him with concerns about lower wages.....except it really sounds like being forced to campaign for stuff you don't believe in or understand ("solidarity") is the price you pay for higher wages.
And hey- solidarity is pretty damn convincing. It's so convincing that guys like Dave Brister get worried about their election prospects and panic on Twitter. Lots of people who don't have a comforting bubble of like-minded individuals around them to blunt the bad news end up like Dave. Frank Klees bailed too, and I can't say I'm particularly choked up about that development. Newfoundland Premier Kathy Dunderdale got scared because people told a bunch of pollsters they didn't like her, so now we have to worry about another nominally Conservative province swinging red again.
What is happening here is the difference between people who are organized into ranks and who have good reason to fear for their safety if those ranks are broken, and the rest of us. Are you more or less likely to spout off about how you don't like right to work now that you know Brister got told to hit the bricks? Exactly. When Hudak put his foot down, he made the haters be quiet.
And that's what really bothers the union leadership about right to work. They fear a loss of influence. Influence over their members and the ability to terrify their enemies. And if unions could admit this- that it's all about taking privilege from those who currently have it- instead of dressing it up in nice language, people would respect them a lot more.