Right to Work Good For Pay and Benefits

By prohibiting compulsory union dues, state Right to Work laws spur the growth of private-sector employee compensation in the form of wages, salaries, benefits and bonuses, as well as employment growth. Sources: U.S. Commerce Department, U.S. Labor Department

Private-Sector Compensation Growth Lags in Forced-Unionism States

(Source: June 2011 NRTWC Newsletter)

Even union bosses and their apologists sometimes grudgingly admit that long-term private-sector job growth in states that currently have Right to Work laws on the books far outpaces job growth in states that lack such pro-employee statutes.

This fact is indeed hard to deny. From 1990 to 2010, according to the U.S. Labor Department, private-sector payrolls in Right to Work states soared by 32.0% — an increase triple that of forced-union-dues states combined.

Over the past decade alone, nationwide private-sector employment fell by 3.3% due to the impact of the severe 2008-2009 recession. But Right to Work states experienced an overall private-sector job increase, while forced-unionism states suffered a 5.5% aggregate job loss.

Big Labor tries to downplay the significance of Right to Work states’ large, persistent employment-growth advantage by suggesting that the jobs created outside of forced unionism’s dominion are “the wrong kind.”

Unfortunately for union propagandists, however, U.S. Commerce Department data show that Right to Work states also enjoy a large, persistent advantage over forced-unionism states with regard to growth of private-sector employee compensation (including wages, salaries, bonuses and benefits).

Real Compensation Grew Nine Times as Much Over Past Decade In Right to Work States

The 22 state Right to Work laws now on the books prohibit forcing private- and public-sector employees to join or pay dues or so-called “agency” fees to an unwanted union as a condition of employment.

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.

“The forced-union-dues system foments hate-the-boss class warfare in many workplaces. It helps Big Labor impose and perpetuate counterproductive and costly work rules,” noted National Right to Work Committee Vice President Greg Mourad.

“And union bosses funnel a large share of the forced dues and fees they collect through this system into the campaigns of Tax & Spend, regulation-happy state and local politicians.

“It’s thus only logical that the forced-unionism system would leave businesses with less money to create jobs or raise pay and benefits for current employees. And U.S. Labor and Commerce Department data indicate that’s exactly what happens.”

National Right to Work Law Would Widen Success

Mr. Mourad continued: “State Right to Work laws’ core function is safeguarding the individual employee’s freedom of choice.

“And to protect the freedom of millions of employees who are still subject to forced unionism and to widen the economic success now being experienced by Right to Work states, America needs a national Right to Work law.”

This spring, U.S. Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), heeding the requests of Committee members in their respective states and across the country, introduced S.504, which would repeal all federal labor law provisions that authorize compulsory dues and fee payments as a condition of employment.

S.504, also known as the National Right to Work Act, now has 13 Senate sponsors. Last month, companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House as H.R.2040.

“S.504/H.R.2040 would accelerate job creation and wage and salary growth in all 50 states. Businesses in current Right to Work states would share the benefits as their out-of-state suppliers and customers were freed from the burden of compulsory unionism,” explained Mr. Mourad.

“I strongly encourage Right to Work supporters to contact their U.S. senators and congressmen at 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121, and ask them to cosponsor this legislation if they have not already done so.”