Friday, January 27, 2023
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, January 30, 2012
Right to Work Heads to Indiana
By Heritage Foundation @ 11:56 AM :: 4135 Views :: Labor

www.Heritage.org

In 22 states in the Union, workers have the freedom under "Right-to-Work" laws to decide whether or not to pay union dues, and now Indiana is poised to become the twenty-third state on that list, bringing the workers there renewed hope in an economy that has seen few glimmers of light.

Last week, Indiana's House and Senate passed a right-to-work bill after weeks of political maneuvering by pro-union politicians hoping to stop the proposal in its tracks. Today, the legislation returns to the state's Senate for a final vote, and Governor Mitch Daniels (R) has promised to sign the bill into law. Meanwhile, a dozen labor unions have protested the measure, with threats to "occupy" the Super Bowl to be held in Indianapolis next week. Nationally, right-to-work states have become a target, as well. Last year, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) took aim at the Boeing Corporation for its decision to locate a new factory in South Carolina, a right-to-work state. The NLRB attempted to stop Boeing from making fundamental decisions about where to do business -- ultimately, it dropped the case after union negotiators reached a deal that benefited their members in a union state.

Proponents of Indiana's measure -- which protects workers from being fired for not paying union dues -- say that the law will help the state attract more businesses and jobs, spurring economic growth. And there's data that proves it. Heritage's James Sherk writes that right-to-work states have lower unemployment rates (9.2 percent) than states without right-to-work laws (9.9 percent). And though critics say that could be a result of regional differences (right-to-work states are mostly in the South and West), research comparing counties across state lines shows that, "The share of manufacturing jobs in counties in right-to-work states is one-third higher than in adjacent counties in non–right-to-work states," as Sherk explains.

It's understandable that states would want the benefits that right to work brings, but it's also understandable why unions oppose it so strongly. When Idaho and Oklahoma passed right-to-work laws, union membership fell 15 percent. Likewise, all the dues the unions collect plummeted right along with their membership. Sherk writes that in Indiana, right to work would save private-sector workers $18.4 million a year. In union-stronghold Michigan, where some are pushing for the law, workers would save $46.4 million a year. And though unions claim that right to work undermines their ability to keep wages high -- truly the bread-and-butter of the union movement -- most studies show that right-to-work laws have little effect on wages in either direction.

All that said, while workers are rejecting unions, they still want their voices heard in the workplace. Sherk explains how systems like these can operate in non-union workplaces:

Many employees (and employers) would like employee involvement (EI) programs and work groups in which workers and supervisors can meet to discuss workplace issues. These programs can take many forms. Examples include self-directed work teams, safety committees, and production committees. The essential element is advancing employee interests through employee involvement.

Polls show that 60 percent of workers prefer EI programs to improve working conditions over either more government regulations or labor unions. Examples of effective EI programs that advance worker interests abound.

The trouble is that current law prohibits non-union employers and employees to work together to improve working conditions. Sherk writes that Congress banned these kinds of programs in order to prevent companies from creating and negotiating with employer-dominated "company unions" to fight off organizing drives -- a senseless prohibition today given that few workers want to unionize, anyhow.

Employee involvement programs can improve working conditions, help companies attract valuable employees, and create an environment that's beneficial to the workers -- and to the company. Congress should give employees and employers this kind of flexibility. And in states where employees are still forced to pay union dues, governments ought to give their employees the right to work without fear of big labor reprisal.

---30---

FEATURED POSTS

QUICK HITS

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT