“Right to Work” and “Ready to Work” in Iowa

“Right to Work” and “Ready to Work” in Iowa

In the May issue of Inside ALEC, Iowa State Rep. Dawn Pettengill explains the importance of Right To Work and state economic growth: Through an executive order in July of 2000, Iowa’s Governor [Tom] Vilsack ordered the removal of all Right to Work references from the Department of Economic Development (IDED) website and brochures. [Vilsack is Barack Obama’s current Secretary of Agriculture.] Eleven years later, HF149 sailed through the Iowa House requiring IDED to include the phrase, “Iowa is a Right-to- Work State” in BOLD letters on all business recruitment and promotional literature and their website. Today, although the bill stalled in the Senate, the Iowa Department of Economic Development’s webpage “Why Iowa?” proudly announces Iowa as a Right to Work state. The “Business Advantages” page showcases Iowa’s Right to Work at the top of the list of reasons for a business to bring their commerce to our state. Whether you are a business or an individual, the rights of workers and employers are every bit as important as tax implications, a skilled workforce and a great quality of life when making that location decision. According to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, Right To Work (RTW) states benefit from faster growth and higher purchasing power than non- Right To Work. Their November 2010 report shows significantly higher percentages in the growth of nonfarm private sector employees, real manufacturing GDP, real personal income, disposable personal income, value added per production worker, housing starts, the number of bachelor degrees attained and people covered by employment based and private health insurance.

Backdoor Card Check

The Craig Becker nomination to the National Labor Relations Board has a bigger impact on forced unionism than most people realize. The Wall Street Journal is an exception -- they know the impact he can have on millions of Americans who do not want to be forced to join a union: Arlen Specter's party switch has renewed the debate over the legislative prospects for "card check," which would effectively eliminate secret ballots in union organizing elections. But Big Labor might not even need card check if Craig Becker has his way. Mr. Becker is one of two recent National Labor Relations Board appointments by President Obama. The five-member NLRB supervises union elections, investigates labor practices and, most important, issues rulings that interpret the National Labor Relations Act. Mr. Becker, who is currently the associate general counsel at Andy Stern's Service Employees International Union, is all for giving unions more power over companies in elections. Only he's not sure he needs to wait for Congress. Current law on organizing provides advantages and restrictions for both sides. Employers are required to provide union reps with a list of employees and their addresses. Union organizers can visit employees at home, but companies cannot. Organizers can also make promises to employees (such as obtaining raises), which employers cannot. Companies can argue their position at a work site up to 24 hours before an election, but they are barred from coercing employees. Both sides get a seat at the table during NLRB hearings about the scope of an election or complaints about how it was conducted. Mr. Becker has other ideas. In a 1993 Minnesota Law Review article, written when he was a UCLA professor, he explained that traditional notions of democracy should not apply in union elections.

One more Big Labor Payback Before Senator-Elect Brown becomes Senator Brown

Racing against the clock, Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pushed through another Obama Big Labor nominee, Patricia Smith, before Senator-Elect Scott Brown becomes a Senator. Reid won this race, see the Senate votes here. In addition, Reid is prepared to add radical SEIU & AFL-CIO lawyer, Craig Becker to the list of Obama nominees approved before Senator Brown arrives. As the new U.S. Solicitor of Labor, President Obama’s nominee M. Patricia Smith will control the largest civilian pool of government lawyers after the Justice Department. Then New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer appointed Smith Commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor (NYDOL). Having spent her entire working life as a government employee, Smith brings only bureaucratic experience to the table. As NYDOL Commissioner, Smith used her position and federal funds to override a state hiring freeze to hire a politically connected union organizer as a state employee.