Right to Work's Electoral Clout Rising

Right to Work's Electoral Clout Rising

(Source: January 2011 NRTWC Newsletter) When Ronald Reagan was first elected, just 173 electoral votes of the 270 needed to become President came from Right to Work states. By the time Barack Obama again faces the voters, the number will be 220. Ongoing Shift in U.S. Economic Base Has Political Implications  For many years, states that have Right to Work laws protecting employees from being fired for refusal to join or pay dues or fees to an unwanted union have benefited from private-sector job and personal income growth that are, in the aggregate, well above the national average.  Conversely, states that do not protect employees from forced unionism have collectively endured sub-par growth.  At the turn of every decade, the U.S. Census Bureau tacitly confirms that America's economic base is shifting from forced-unionism states to Right to Work states when it reapportions our nationwide political map.  Such was the case again last month.  On December 21, the Census Bureau announced that, after the 2012 elections, Right to Work Texas will gain four U.S. House seats, Right to Work Florida will add two, and five other Right to Work states -- Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina and Utah -- will pick up one seat apiece.  Millions of Workers 'Vote With Their Feet' For Right to Work  Starting at the beginning of 2012, Right to Work states will hold 176 out of 435 House seats, compared to the 167 they hold at present, and the 133 they held in 1980, when Ronald Reagan was first elected President.  When it comes to the Electoral College, by which Presidents are officially chosen under the U.S. Constitution, just 162 electoral votes of the 270 needed to become President came from Right to Work states in 1968, the year of Richard Nixon's first successful White House bid.  In the 2000 showdown between George W. Bush and Al Gore, Right to Work states cast 195 electoral votes. By 2012, when President Obama next faces the voters, the Right to Work share will rise to 220. 

Right to Work: Rx For Job-Losing States

Right to Work: Rx For Job-Losing States

(Source: December 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) In every region of the country where both Right to Work states and forced-unionism states are located, the Right to Work states' long-term economic growth is superior. The Midwestern contrast is especially strong. Legislators Look at 'Oklahoma Model' For Stronger Economic Growth It's been more than seven decades since The Grapes of Wrath, both the John Steinbeck novel and the Hollywood movie it inspired, established the desperate migration of "Okies" from the Dust Bowl to the orchards of California as an icon of the Great Depression. Times have certainly changed. As an October 12 USA Today feature story noted, since 1999, "the number of Californians departing the Golden State for Oklahoma has outnumbered those going the opposite direction by more than 21,000 . . . ." The net influx of people into the Sooner State from California and many other states with sub-par or abysmal job and income growth records is, as USA Today put it, "a sign of Oklahoma's growing economic prowess." To explain the state's recent record of economic success, the USA Today feature specifically mentioned Oklahoma's low and relatively stable housing costs, its concentration of aerospace and defense technology expertise, and its oil and natural gas reserves. But as important as these assets are, Oklahoma had them all in the early 1990's, when its long-term job and income growth still trailed the national average. The real turning point for Oklahoma's transition from an economic laggard to an economic leader was in 1992 -- when the National Right to Work Committee teamed up with local grass-roots activists to map out a multi-year campaign to pass a Sooner Right to Work law. Benefits of Right to Work Campaign Were Evident Long Before State Law Was Passed "In the early 1990's, the 'Dust Bowl' was already a distant memory, but Oklahoma's job climate still seemed pretty dry," commented Matthew Leen, vice president of the National Right to Work Committee. Domestic population migration data reflect Oklahoma's "growing economic prowess." The 1994-2001 Sooner State campaign to pass a Right to Work law, as well as the law itself, helped build that prowess. "From 1984 through 1994, the decade before the Committee program to pass a Right to Work law in Oklahoma was initiated, private-sector employment in Oklahoma increased by less than a third as much as the national average, according to the U.S. Labor Department. "Over that same decade, inflation-adjusted U.S. Commerce Department data show Oklahoma's real personal income grew by just 2.3%, less than a tenth of the nationwide percentage gain. "But in 1994, the seeds of change were

Pennsylvania Worker Fights Union-Only PLAs

Pennsylvania Worker Fights Union-Only PLAs

On September 17, John Falk and a few companions set off on foot for Washington, D.C. At the end of the journey, they pled with Congress to stop PLA discrimination against union-free workers and firms. Image Credit: Daily Record/Sunday News—Jason Plotkin Obama Executive Order Denies Union-Free Workers a 'Fair Shake' (Source: October 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) John Falk, a genial 59-year-old glass worker from Red Lion, Pa., made a five-day trek on foot last month from his home state to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Mr. Falk and the three people who accompanied him -- a friend, a fellow worker, and his employer, Debra Zarfoss -- walked 89 miles to help mobilize public opposition to federal and state policies that discriminate against union-free employees and businesses. As Mr. Falk puts it, "We're not looking for a handout, bailout, or any other special favor. We just want a fair shake." Unfortunately, President Barack Obama and most current U.S. congressmen and senators are opposed to letting union-free workers like John Falk compete on a level playing field. Back in February 2009, one of the first major actions the President took after settling in at the White House was to issue Executive Order 13502, which promotes union-only "project labor agreements" (PLAs) on federally funded public works. This April, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council published a "final rule" implementing E.O.13502. 'Job Discrimination Because . . . of a Worker's Union Membership Is Flat Wrong' "E.O.13502 pressures federal agencies to acquiesce to PLAs on all large public works," noted Matthew Leen, vice president of the National Right to Work Committee.

Forced Unionism vs. Private Health Insurance

Forced Unionism vs. Private Health Insurance

Between 1999 and 2009, the number of people with job-based private health insurance grew by 570,000 in Right to Work states, but declined by 7.74 million in forced-unionism states. Big Labor can't explain why. Image Credit: sph.umd.edu (Source: October 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) Big Labor Bastions See Steep Decline in Job-Based Benefits On average, residents of Right to Work states have higher real, spendable incomes than their counterparts in non-Right to Work states. And Right to Work states have a much better track record of creating and sustaining private-sector jobs that come with health benefits. The evidence confirming these two points comes from the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and Bureau of the Census (BOC), as well as the nonpartisan Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC). Last month, the National Right to Work Committee's research affiliate, the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, conducted an analysis of the BEA-reported 2009 disposable (after-tax) income data for each of the 50 states. The Institute adjusted the data to account for interstate differences in living costs with the help of a quarterly index created and reported by MERIC. The analysis found that, in 2009, the cost of living-adjusted disposable income per capita for the 22 Right to Work states was $35,543. Productive, Well-Compensated Jobs Disappearing in Forced-Unionism States

Why Are Oakland Burglars Breathing Easier?

Why Are Oakland Burglars Breathing Easier?

Police Chief Anthony Batts to Oaklanders: If your home is burglarized, don't call us. Credit: AP (Source: August 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) Public-Safety Union Monopoly Undercuts California Law Enforcement On Tuesday, July 13, Oakland, Calif., became a friendlier place for burglars, embezzlers, car thieves, bad-check passers, extortionists, and an array of other criminals. That afternoon, Oakland, a major West Coast port city with roughly 400,000 residents, laid off 80 police officers, or 10% of its force, to help eliminate a budget deficit of over $30 million. In response, the city police department implemented a new policy in which officers aren't being dispatched to take reports for 44 "lower priority" crimes. Oaklanders whose homes or vehicles are burglarized must now go online or visit a police station to file reports. However, the police department warns them that, even if they do: "There will be no follow-up investigation, and the primary reason for filing the report is for

'Big Labor Picked the Wrong Guy to Bully'

'Big Labor Picked the Wrong Guy to Bully'

ROTC Instructor Wins Small Victory Over Teacher Union Bosses (Source: July 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) According to the most recent available federal data, there are roughly 73,000 public elementary and secondary schoolteachers in Massachusetts. Reportedly, more than 99% of these educators must allow the agents of a single teacher union to negotiate with their employer over matters of pay, benefits and working conditions if they wish to continue working at a public school. And the vast majority of Bay State teachers under union monopoly bargaining are also compelled to fork over dues or fees to their "exclusive" union bargaining agent, or be fired. However, as they recently demonstrated, top bosses of the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA/NEA) union and its affiliates aren't content with extracting forced union dues and fees from the vast majority of teachers in the state. The fact that even one teacher is working in a public school without paying tribute is enough to set them off. For 14 years, retired U.S. Marine Maj. Stephen Godin has vexed the bosses of the MTA-affiliated Education Association of Worcester (EAW) union by serving as a junior ROTC instructor at North High School without paying them for the privilege.

'Big Labor Picked the Wrong Guy to Bully'

'Big Labor Picked the Wrong Guy to Bully'

ROTC Instructor Wins Small Victory Over Teacher Union Bosses (Source: July 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) According to the most recent available federal data, there are roughly 73,000 public elementary and secondary schoolteachers in Massachusetts. Reportedly, more than 99% of these educators must allow the agents of a single teacher union to negotiate with their employer over matters of pay, benefits and working conditions if they wish to continue working at a public school. And the vast majority of Bay State teachers under union monopoly bargaining are also compelled to fork over dues or fees to their "exclusive" union bargaining agent, or be fired. However, as they recently demonstrated, top bosses of the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA/NEA) union and its affiliates aren't content with extracting forced union dues and fees from the vast majority of teachers in the state. The fact that even one teacher is working in a public school without paying tribute is enough to set them off. For 14 years, retired U.S. Marine Maj. Stephen Godin has vexed the bosses of the MTA-affiliated Education Association of Worcester (EAW) union by serving as a junior ROTC instructor at North High School without paying them for the privilege.

Iowans Again Defeat Forced-Union-Fee Scheme

Iowans Again Defeat Forced-Union-Fee Scheme

But Hawkeye State's Popular Right to Work Law Still Under Fire (Source: May 2010 NRTWC Newsletter)  Over the past four years, union lobbyists in Des Moines employed every conceivable tactic to ram through the Hawkeye State Legislature legislation gutting Iowa's popular, six-decade-old Right to Work law. Again and again, union officials have threatened to recruit and bankroll primary challengers to run against Democratic legislators who refused to back forced union fees. This March, one union lobbyist is even alleged to have told a state lawmaker, "You could have $100,000 in your account to fight off any challenger," if he switched his position and voted for the forced-union-fee bill then pending in the Legislature. However, the National Right to Work Committee and its grass-roots ally, the Des Moines-based Iowans for Right to Work Committee, energized freedom-loving Iowans to fight back every step of the way. And this spring, the Big Labor politicians who run the Iowa House and Senate finally backed down and adjourned the 2010 session without ever bringing up for a vote H.F.2420, the Right to Work-gutting measure introduced in the 2009-10 Legislature. Union Bosses Remain Determined To Destroy Right to Work Law Not taking anything for granted, the National Right To Work Committee legislative department kept the heat on until the Iowa Legislature called it quits after an unusually short 2010 session on Tuesday, March 30. And the battle to save Iowa's Right to Work law is far from over even now.