Heritage Foundation: Right to Work Creates Jobs and Choice

James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation confirms what we have known for decades, enacting Right to Work laws create jobs and promote choice for workers: Union contracts frequently require employees to pay union dues or lose their jobs. This forces workers to support the union financially even if the union contract harms them or they oppose the union’s agenda. Several states, including New Hampshire and Indiana, are considering right-to-work laws, which protect workers from being fired for not paying union dues. Unions oppose these laws because they reduce union membership and income. However, the rest of the economy benefits from right-to-work laws. States can and should reduce unemployment by becoming right-to-work states. Right-to-Work Unions often negotiate contracts requiring all workers to pay union dues or lose their jobs, whether or not they support the union. But many workers reject unions. Some do so because union contracts reduce their pay. Others oppose unions’ political agendas: Unions almost exclusively support Democrats, despite 37 percent of their members voting Republican in the last election.[1] To prevent workers from being forced to support unions financially, 22 states have passed right-to-work laws. Such laws prevent companies from firing workers who do not pay union dues. Workers may still pay voluntarily, but unions cannot threaten their jobs if they do not join. Lawmakers in several states, including New Hampshire, Indiana, and Michigan, are considering right-to-work bills. Forced Unionization Is Not an American Value The government should not force workers to pay for unwanted union representation. In a free society, workers alone should make that choice. Right-to-work laws also make good economic sense. They reduce the incentive for union organizers to target companies that treat their workers well. Since unions hurt businesses, less aggressive union organizing attracts investment—and jobs. Lawmakers considering right-to-work proposals should ignore the union movement’s self-interested opposition. Unions could negotiate contracts that apply only to their members—they simply prefer not to. Unions should not be able to force workers to choose between financially supporting them and losing their jobs. Unions Lose Money When Workers Opt Out

Forced-Dues Drive Pennsylvania Public Union Salaries,  Outpace Private Sector's and Members' Wages

Forced-Dues Drive Pennsylvania Public Union Salaries, Outpace Private Sector's and Members' Wages

Forced-dues continue to fill the coffers of unions, as well as, union presidents'  and politicians' pockets according to this recent study by the Commonwealth Foundation: Government Unions and Forced Dues Almost half of government workers in Pennsylvania are union members, compared to 9.3 percent in the private sector. Pennsylvania is a forced union state, meaning that workers can be forced to join a union or pay a [so-called] "fair share fee" just to keep their job.  Most government units in Pennsylvania are "agency shops," with a specified union to which workers must pay a fee. When state and local governments automatically deduct dues and fair share fees from government workers' paychecks—as is the practice in Pennsylvania—employees have little or no say in how their money is used. Union Bosses Union bosses collect hefty salaries derived from member dues and fair share fees. In most cases, the salaries are several times the average union member's annual pay. While acknowledging that budgets were tight, AFSCME Council 13 President David Fillman got a 6 percent raise in 2010, making his salary higher than Gov. Tom Corbett's. Dues and fees often go towards expensive conferences, outings and junkets.  For example, in 2009-10 the Pennsylvania State Education Association—the state's largest public sector union—spent: More than $250,000 on a board of directors retreat in Gettysburg. More than $89,000 for a "political institution meeting" at the Radisson Penn Harris in Camp Hill, Pa. $20,000 for advertising in the Pittsburgh Steelers Yearbook. Almost $5,900 at Kimberton Golf Club and more than $5,100 at Concord Country Club in Chadd's Ford. Political Activity and Lobbying

Forced-Dues Drive Pennsylvania Public Union Salaries,  Outpace Private Sector's and Members' Wages

Forced-Dues Drive Pennsylvania Public Union Salaries, Outpace Private Sector's and Members' Wages

Forced-dues continue to fill the coffers of unions, as well as, union presidents'  and politicians' pockets according to this recent study by the Commonwealth Foundation: Government Unions and Forced Dues Almost half of government workers in Pennsylvania are union members, compared to 9.3 percent in the private sector. Pennsylvania is a forced union state, meaning that workers can be forced to join a union or pay a [so-called] "fair share fee" just to keep their job.  Most government units in Pennsylvania are "agency shops," with a specified union to which workers must pay a fee. When state and local governments automatically deduct dues and fair share fees from government workers' paychecks—as is the practice in Pennsylvania—employees have little or no say in how their money is used. Union Bosses Union bosses collect hefty salaries derived from member dues and fair share fees. In most cases, the salaries are several times the average union member's annual pay. While acknowledging that budgets were tight, AFSCME Council 13 President David Fillman got a 6 percent raise in 2010, making his salary higher than Gov. Tom Corbett's. Dues and fees often go towards expensive conferences, outings and junkets.  For example, in 2009-10 the Pennsylvania State Education Association—the state's largest public sector union—spent: More than $250,000 on a board of directors retreat in Gettysburg. More than $89,000 for a "political institution meeting" at the Radisson Penn Harris in Camp Hill, Pa. $20,000 for advertising in the Pittsburgh Steelers Yearbook. Almost $5,900 at Kimberton Golf Club and more than $5,100 at Concord Country Club in Chadd's Ford. Political Activity and Lobbying

Wisconsin Governor in Big Labor Gun Sights

Wisconsin Governor in Big Labor Gun Sights

  Union-Boss Bid to Regain Control Over State Senate Falls Short (Source: September 2011 NRTWC Newsletter) Early this year, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) infuriated the union hierarchy, in his own state and nationally, when he introduced legislation (S.B.11) that would abolish forced union dues for teachers and many other public employees and also sharply limit the scope of union monopoly bargaining. In response, teacher union bosses in Madison, Milwaukee, and other cities called teachers out on illegal strikes so they could stage angry protests at the state capitol. Government union militants issued dozens of death threats against Mr. Walker, members of his administration, and their families. Fourteen union-backed state senators, all Democrats, temporarily fled the state to deny the pro-S.B.11 Senate majority a quorum to pass the bill. In raucous demonstrations, union bigwigs and their radical followers actually suggested Mr. Walker's support for public employees' Right to Work made him similar to Mubarak, Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler, or even Satan.

Right to Work Debated in State Capitals

Right to Work Debated in State Capitals

    But National Forced-Dues Repeal Measure Still Being Held Back (Source: September 2011 NRTWC Newsletter) Not long ago, Big Labor was crowing about having thwarted citizen efforts to pass new Right to Work laws in Indiana and New Hampshire this year. But it's now clear that the boasts of the union bosses were premature. Legislative support for abolishing compulsory union membership, dues and fees has been and remains strong in both the Hoosier and Granite States. Union lobbyists have therefore had to rely heavily on Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.) and union-label Gov. John Lynch (D-N.H.) to prevent enactment of America's 23rd and 24th state Right to Work laws. But now Mr. Daniels, under increasing heat from thousands and thousands of freedom-loving Hoosiers, including many who have supported him in the past, is signaling that he may reconsider his opposition to legislative votes on Right to Work measures in Indianapolis next year. Meanwhile, Mr. Lynch's late-spring veto of H.B.474, which would prohibit the firing of New Hampshire employees for refusal to pay dues or fees to an unwanted union, may now potentially be overridden because of a sustained Right to Work lobbying campaign. States Can't Afford to Ignore Fact That Compulsory Unionism Hinders Economic Growth "In the two years since the severe 2008-9 national recession officially ended, most state economies have recovered only feebly, if at all," commented National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix. "That's why many Indianans and New Hampshirites, along with the citizens of a number of other states that have yet to enact Right to Work laws, are now emphatically telling their elected officials that they can't afford to ignore the fact that compulsory unionism hinders economic growth. "Trends in employee compensation, that is, wages, salaries, bonuses and benefits, illustrate well the Right to Work growth advantage. "From 2000 to 2010, the inflation-adjusted outlays of private-sector businesses for employee compensation increased by an average of 11.8% in Right to Work states. That increase is nine times as great as forced-unionism states' combined 1.3% rise over the same period. "Twenty of the 22 Right to Work states experienced a real compensation increase greater than the national average of 4.9%. And 14 of the 15 states with the lowest real compensation growth lack a Right to Work law." Mr. Mix added that faster growth constitutes only a part of Right to Work states' edge. Adjusting for regional differences in living costs with the help of indices created by the non-partisan Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), in 2010 the average compensation per private-sector employee in Right to Work states was $56,830. That's roughly $1100 more than the average for forced-unionism states. Cost of Living-Adjusted Compensation Higher In Right to Work States

UAW in Financial Trouble

The UAW, which purchased among other things, a golf course with members dues money, appears to be hitting the financial skids. The Truth About Cars reports that the union is down to its savings and is running on fumes: A bloated management, run-away costs, declining market share, imploding volume, a sell-off of assets and investments, headquartered in Detroit – what is it? No, it’s none of the Detroit automakers. It is their former nemesis and current co-owner, the United Auto Workers. “Two years after the wrenching restructuring of the U.S. auto industry and the bankruptcies that remade General Motors and Chrysler, the UAW is facing its own financial reckoning. America’s richest union has been living beyond its means and running down its savings, an analysis of its financial records shows. Unless King and other officials succeed with a turnaround plan still taking shape, the next financial crisis in Detroit may not be at one of the automakers but at the UAW itself.” This is the beginning of a special report written by the best in the reporting business, by Deepa Seetharaman and her boss, Kevin Krolicki, Chief of the Detroit Bureau of Reuters, with the help of their team of combat reporters from the Detroit front-lines. “The UAW might have three to five years before its budget difficulties forced a financial crunch, absent changes. The “hand-grenade” math of the projection gave the union less than a five-year window of opportunity to turn things around by winning new membership at foreign-run auto plants, said the person who saw the internal forecast and asked not to be named because of its sensitivity.”