Pundits, Labor Policy Specialists Explain Why Right to Work's Right For Indiana, America

(source: National Right to Work Committee February 2012 Newsletter)

I submit that the real [Right to Work] debate is about unions’ fear that if this legislation passes, members will run out the door and their decline will be hastened. Instead of unions fighting [Right to Work], they should ask why their members would want to leave in the first place . . . .

Abdul Hakim Shabazz, editor, Indypolitics.com, Indianapolis Star, January 11, 2012

[U]nion contracts do not have to cover nonunion employees. The Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed unions’ ability to negotiate “members only” contracts. Unions voluntarily negotiate contracts covering all workers, members and nonmembers alike.

They do so because union contracts benefit some workers at the expense of others. Unions do not want to let the workers they hurt opt out. . . . Unions want everyone under their contract, especially those they hold back.

James Sherk, senior policy analyst in labor economics, Heritage Foundation, Miami Herald, January 7, 2012

I think this is really almost a life-and-death issue for Indiana. Twenty percent of Indiana’s workforce is in manufacturing . . . . They have got to be competitive with the southern tier of [Right to Work] states we saw on the map, or those companies will inevitably migrate. There’s a lot of outmigration in Indiana right now. The level of real incomes is falling because of all the manufacturing going to the [Right to Work] South. It is a make-or-break deal for Indiana . . . .

Dan Henninger, deputy editorial page editor, Wall Street Journal, “Journal Editorial Report,” Fox News, January 14, 2012

How significant is the lack of a [Right to Work] law in Indiana? We estimate if Indiana had adopted such a law in 1977, . . . Indiana’s personal income in 2008 would have been $241.9 billion, 8.4 percent more than the actual $223.2 billion. Nearly $19 billion in annual income was lost because of Indiana’s lack of a [Right to Work] law. Alternative statistical estimates yield slightly smaller but still highly robust results.

Richard Vedder, economics professor, Ohio University (and two coauthors) “Right-to-Work and Indiana’s Economic Future,” January 2011

[T]he fact of the matter is that, if the record of other right-to-work states is any evidence, this bill, which Gov. Daniels is expected to sign by Feb. 5, will give Indiana’s economy a real competitive edge over other Midwestern states, forcing them to consider similar bills. For example, as I noted some months ago, there is a credible effort afoot to make Michigan a right-to-work state, something unthinkable even five years ago given the near-complete chokehold of unions on this state for over half a century.

Shikha Dalmia, senior policy analyst, Reason Foundation, Reason magazine blog, January 26, 2012

Young people, for example, are flocking to right-to-work states. From 2000 to 2010, right-to-work states saw a 9.2 percent increase in the number of residents aged 25-34, according to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research. In the same decade, forced-union states saw that demographic shrink.

Patrick Gleason, director of state affairs, Americans for Tax Reform (and one coauthor) Politico, January 25, 2012

The passion with which Big Labor fights right-to-work helps explain why so many Americans have abandoned unions. The labor movement was born in freedom and choice. That’s not where it stands any more.

Jeff Jacoby, syndicated newspaper columnist, Boston Globe, February 1, 2012