Time to Give Indiana an Economic Edge

Time to Give Indiana an Economic Edge

As Right to Work legislation finds its way back to the top of the legislative agenda in the state capital, Andrea Neal looks at the benefits of enacting a Right to Work bill in the Hoosier State: It doesn't take an economist to spot the common thread in these recent economic development headlines: Chattanooga, Tenn., July 29: "Volkswagen hires 2,000th employee." Shreveport, La., July 28: "NJ-based bag manufacturer to build Louisiana plant." Decatur, Ala., July 21: "Polyplex to build $185 million plant." West Point, Ga., July 7: "Kia builds vehicle No. 300,000." All four stories have Southern datelines. All come from states with right-to-work laws, which prohibit labor contracts that [force] employees to join a union or pay a union representation fee. This is the issue that prompted the five-week House Democratic walkout during the 2011 Indiana General Assembly. The Democrats -- a minority in both House and Senate -- had no other leverage. So when a right-to-work bill came up unexpectedly in a session that was supposed to be about the budget, redistricting and education, they bolted. Republicans capitulated and took the legislation off the table. In 2012, it will return with a vengeance, and this time Democrats can't avoid it. Right-to-work has been promised a full public airing. The Interim Study Committee on Employment Issues, chaired by Sen. Phil Boots, R-Crawfordsville, is taking a first crack this summer and hopes to recommend a bill by November. Gov. Mitch Daniels, who didn't support the bill last session, has hinted he might this time around.

Teachers Aren't 'Interchangeable' in Tennessee

Teachers Aren't 'Interchangeable' in Tennessee

Intense and persistent lobbying by the National Right to Work Committee’s Tennessee members and supporters helped convince GOP legislators and Gov. Bill Haslam (R) to prohibit union monopoly bargaining in public schools. Credit: Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press Volunteer State Teacher Union Bosses Losing Monopoly Privileges This year, Right to Work proponents have scored a series of remarkable, though still mostly very tenuous, state victories over government union kingpins. In March, Wisconsin and Ohio became the first states ever to revoke government union bosses' privilege to get workers fired for refusal to pay dues or fees to an unwanted union after previously passing a law authorizing compulsory unionism. The following month, Right to Work Oklahoma passed legislation denying government union bosses the legal power to force municipal officials to recognize them as public employees' "exclusive" bargaining agents. And now Right to Work Tennessee has achieved another milestone by effectively repealing the mislabeled "Education Professional Negotiations" Act, which authorized and promoted union monopoly-bargaining control over teachers and other K-12 public school instructional employees. Union lobbyists rammed public school monopoly bargaining through the Tennessee Legislature in 1978. Big Labor puppet Gov. Ray Blanton (D) then eagerly signed the measure. As a consequence of the Blanton law, educators in 92 Tennessee school systems, roughly two-thirds of all the districts in the state, are currently forced to accept union monopoly bargaining in order to keep their jobs. The monopoly-bargaining system, now statutorily imposed on some or all state and local government employees in 36 states, hands union officials "exclusive" power to bargain over wages, benefits, and working conditions. 'We're Putting the Entire Education System at Risk' Even public employees who choose not to join a union must work under contract terms negotiated by union bosses, or quit their jobs. Independent-minded employees are stripped of any freedom to negotiate with employers on their own behalf.

Teachers Aren't 'Interchangeable' in Tennessee

Teachers Aren't 'Interchangeable' in Tennessee

Intense and persistent lobbying by the National Right to Work Committee’s Tennessee members and supporters helped convince GOP legislators and Gov. Bill Haslam (R) to prohibit union monopoly bargaining in public schools. Credit: Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press Volunteer State Teacher Union Bosses Losing Monopoly Privileges This year, Right to Work proponents have scored a series of remarkable, though still mostly very tenuous, state victories over government union kingpins. In March, Wisconsin and Ohio became the first states ever to revoke government union bosses' privilege to get workers fired for refusal to pay dues or fees to an unwanted union after previously passing a law authorizing compulsory unionism. The following month, Right to Work Oklahoma passed legislation denying government union bosses the legal power to force municipal officials to recognize them as public employees' "exclusive" bargaining agents. And now Right to Work Tennessee has achieved another milestone by effectively repealing the mislabeled "Education Professional Negotiations" Act, which authorized and promoted union monopoly-bargaining control over teachers and other K-12 public school instructional employees. Union lobbyists rammed public school monopoly bargaining through the Tennessee Legislature in 1978. Big Labor puppet Gov. Ray Blanton (D) then eagerly signed the measure. As a consequence of the Blanton law, educators in 92 Tennessee school systems, roughly two-thirds of all the districts in the state, are currently forced to accept union monopoly bargaining in order to keep their jobs. The monopoly-bargaining system, now statutorily imposed on some or all state and local government employees in 36 states, hands union officials "exclusive" power to bargain over wages, benefits, and working conditions. 'We're Putting the Entire Education System at Risk' Even public employees who choose not to join a union must work under contract terms negotiated by union bosses, or quit their jobs. Independent-minded employees are stripped of any freedom to negotiate with employers on their own behalf.