Facts Show Right to Work is Right for America

Facts Show Right to Work is Right for America

Writing in the Miami Herald, James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation makes the case of Indiana and other states to enact Right to Work laws to protect their workers: Who could fault a worker who did not pay dues to the Teamsters? In the past two years the Department of Labor has charged or convicted of corruption 11 Teamsters officers. A government monitor recently accused the union’s president, Jimmy Hoffa, of trying to bribe election opponents with Teamster funds. Should a worker be fired for not paying union dues? Unions think so. They negotiate contracts that force workers to pay union dues or lose their job. Some workers object to their union’s political spending. Other workers could earn more than their union negotiated for them. Still others feel their union is corrupt. Right-to-work has returned to the national agenda. Twenty-two states have passed right-to-work laws that let workers decide whether to support unions or not.  It protects employees’ right to work, whether or not they support unions. New Hampshire legislators narrowly failed to override their governor’s veto of right-to-work. The Indiana legislature will soon debate whether to make the Hoosier state America’s 23rd right-to-work state. They should. Right-to-work benefits the economy as well as personal freedom. Unions organize more aggressively in non- right-to-work states. It is worth it to attempt to unionize any business they have a shot at. If a state becomes right-to-work, however, expensive organizing drives at good employers becomes less worthwhile — unions cannot force content workers to pay dues. Businesses want to know that, if they treat their workers well, unions will leave them alone. Right-to-work makes that more likely — and businesses notice. Studies show right-to-work laws are a major factor in business location decisions. Most new auto plants have been built in right-to-work states. More investment means more jobs.

Right to Work Helps Everyone

Right to Work Helps Everyone

Writing in the Fort Wayne Gazette, David Long, the president of the state Senate and worker rights champion, outlines the benefits of enacting a Right to Work law for Indiana: There is little question what the No. 1 issue is on the minds of Hoosiers today: jobs. It’s all about jobs. Getting a job if you are currently unemployed; keeping your job if you are lucky enough to have one; attracting new jobs if you are involved with economic development. Indiana has seen unprecedented changes in its economic climate the past few years. We are consistently ranked in the top 10 states for doing business as a result of our reasonable cost of living, low taxes, and strong economic incentives and opportunities. And yet, it’s not enough. A quarter of a million Hoosiers remain unemployed, with tens of thousands trapped in an underemployed situation. Our youth unemployment rate is much higher, as it is, sadly, for our returning veterans. Can anyone question that we must do everything possible to bring more high-quality, high-paying jobs to our state? This is the goal of Republican leaders in the state legislature. Last week, we announced that our top priority for the upcoming legislative session is to pass a right-to-work law. There are some very good reasons why this is being proposed. Numerous testimonials by our state’s local economic development specialists show that nearly half of all companies looking to expand or relocate will not consider a state that doesn’t have a right-to-work law. This means that Indiana is losing out on thousands of high-paying jobs and billions of dollars in capital investment. In addition, there is strong research to support the economic case for a right-to-work law. A study from the Bureau of Economic Analysis found that personal income of residents in right-to-work states is higher than in non-right-to-work states. The National Institute for Labor Research found that right-to-work states score better on several key economic indicators, including faster growth and lower unemployment. The concept behind right to work is simple: It makes it illegal for unions to collect dues from employees who choose not to join the union.

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

Right to Work Wins Again

Development Counselors International (DCI) ranked the top five and the bottom five states, in terms of what states provide an economic climate most favorable to business. The rankings show that states following right-to-work laws held the top five spots, while states following more union-friendly rules held the bottom five spots. DCI asked corporate executives and representatives to name the three states they thought provided the "most favorable business climates," and the three states least favorable to business. Texas ranked #1 in the final survey results, while California ranked dead last at #50. DCI provided this commentary on the results: Common themes of low operating costs and a pro-business environment emerge for the top five [original emphasis]. Positive responses emphasized costs, low taxes and incentive offerings, while negative opinions cited high taxes, anti-business climates and fiscal problems/state deficits. Here are the top five states, in order: Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida. Here are the bottom five states, starting with with the worst ranked: California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan.

Right to Work State Economies Grow Faster

Right to Work State Economies Grow Faster

Private-Sector Employees and Employers Alike Reap Major Benefits (Source: July 2011 NRTWC Newsletter) Today, American employees and employers across the country are working hard and using their ingenuity to help their businesses recover from the severe 2008-2009 recession. Unfortunately, an array of laws and regulations imposed by the U.S. Congress and federal bureaucrats are hindering the efforts of workers, managers, and business owners. And the federal policies that authorize the firing of roughly 6.3 million private-sector employees should they refuse to pay union dues or fees as a job condition are among the very worst, if not the worst, obstacles to economic recovery. One indication of the damage wrought by the pro-forced unionism provisions in the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the Railway Labor Act (RLA) is the state-by-state gross domestic product (GDP) data reported by the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis. According to BEA data, from 2000 to 2010, the combined real output of the 22 states with Right to Work laws protecting employees from the forced-union-dues provisions in the NLRA grew by 21.8%. That percentage gain is well over half again as large as the combined real 2000-2010 growth of the 28 states that still do not protect employees from forced union dues. To put it another way, had the entire country grown by as much as current Right to Work states did over just this ten-year period, by 2010 our national GDP would have been $13.674 trillion in constant, "chained" 2005 dollars, roughly $575 billion above the actual figure. Forced Dues Not Justified, Morally or Economically