I suspect that opponents of collective bargaining reached for the headache medicine when they saw “Power from the People,” a recent report from the International Monetary Fund that concluded unions are the key to tackling income inequality, which has reached staggering proportions.

“We find strong evidence that lower unionization is associated with an increase in top income shares in advanced economies during the period 1980-2010,” wrote the IMF researchers.

The study, issued in March, also found that “a rising concentration of income at the top … can reduce a population’s welfare if it allows top earners to manipulate the economic and political system in their favor.”

This analysis from the nonpartisan IMF differs markedly from what we are hearing from certain state legislators who are pushing laws that would weaken existing unions and discourage further organizing (such as L.D. 489, the misnamed “right-to-work” bill).

Working Mainers would be better served by legislators who have the drive and the wisdom to create well-paying jobs all over the state, not by those who seek to undermine unions and keep wages low.

John Curtis