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Posts Tagged ‘Right to Work’
December 2nd, 2013 at 3:12 pm
Podcast: Right to Work
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Aloysius Hogan, Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, discusses recent efforts to repeal laws that require workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment, why union membership offers little value, and a Supreme Court challenge to union practices.

Listen to the interview here.

December 21st, 2012 at 9:08 am
Video: Defending the Right to Work
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On the heels of heated protests in response to the state of Michigan passing legislation that prevents workers from being coerced to join a labor union, CFIF’s Renee Giachino sets the record straight on the benefits of right-to-work laws.

 

December 11th, 2012 at 2:49 pm
Michigan’s Snyder to Sign Paycheck Protection Laws

Now that the Michigan House has passed both paycheck protection measures, Republican Governor Rick Snyder will sign them into law, perhaps as early as Wednesday.

Of course, Big Labor didn’t go down without an ugly fight.  Thousands of public school teachers protested by calling in sick, deliberately shutting down classrooms across the state with a taxpayer-funded temper tantrum.  A state Democratic representative threatened violence by declaring “There will be blood” once the laws go into effect.  And an assortment of union members tried to heckle and intimidate lawmakers into voting down laws that do little more than make union dues voluntary.

After Snyder makes the right-to-work victory final, unions public and private will have to engage in a form of advocacy that is long overdue: Justifying their cost to people who can say no.

Welcome to the free market.

December 11th, 2012 at 1:18 pm
Michigan Passes First of Two Right-to-Work Laws

Huffington Post has the summary:

The Michigan House approved the first of two right-to-work bills Tuesday that would weaken union power in the historical labor stronghold as hundreds of protesters rallied at the Capitol.

The Republican-dominated chamber passed a measure dealing with public-sector workers 58-51 as protesters shouted “shame on you” from the gallery and huge crowds of union backers massed in the state Capitol halls and on the grounds.

Democrats immediately sought to have the vote reconsidered but failed in that effort.

Still to come was a vote on a second bill focusing on private sector workers. The Senate approved both last week. If enacted, Gov. Rick Snyder says he will sign them into law as early as Wednesday.

Even with the outcome considered a foregone conclusion, the heated battle showed no sign of cooling as lawmakers prepared to cast final votes.

December 11th, 2012 at 8:46 am
The Morality of Right-to-Work Laws

Byron York on why the cradle of organized labor is poised to defund union leadership today:

While Washington obsesses about the “fiscal cliff,” there are potentially more consequential events taking place far from the halls of Congress. In a move that rivals and perhaps surpasses the decision to limit organized labor’s collective bargaining powers in Wisconsin, Republican lawmakers in Michigan are expected to pass final legislation Tuesday to end the requirement that workers pay union dues or fees as a condition of their employment.

If the GOP succeeds, Michigan, home of the nation’s heavily unionized auto industry, will become the 24th right-to-work state in the country — a development that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

Republicans say the move would not only give current workers the freedom to choose whether to join a union and pay dues but would, more importantly, bring many, many new jobs to Michigan. Rep. Gov. Rick Snyder, who supports the bill, points out that Indiana enacted (after a long and bitter fight) the same kind of law earlier this year. “We’ve carefully watched what’s gone on in Indiana since they passed similar legislation back in February,” Snyder told Fox News’ Greta van Susteren last week, “and they’ve seen a significant increase in the number of companies talking about [bringing] thousands of jobs to their state.”

To be fair, reporting in the Christian Science Monitor surveys research from conservative and liberal think tanks to show, in the words of one expert, “Very little is actually known about the impact of right-to-work laws.  There [are] a lot of assumptions that [the laws] create or destroy jobs, but the correlation is not definite.”

In other words, like most public policy debates, the essential issue here isn’t financial, it’s moral.  It’s just wrong to force, as almost all unions do, members to sacrifice a portion of their paycheck to the union so that leadership can use the money to support political causes that may, or may not, improve the lives of members.  Paying dues should be voluntary.

Michigan voters agree.  With right-to-work and other issues, it’s important to remember that while social science studies and projected financial impacts can be persuasive, they are not conclusive reasons to support or oppose a position.  At bottom, people make a gut-level decision on an issue based on whether they think the proposal is right or wrong.  At this point in history, unions are squarely on the wrong side of this debate.

November 12th, 2012 at 2:02 pm
Does Obama Owe His Reelection to Right-to-Work Laws?
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Oh, irony of ironies. What little hope there is on the economic front (which was at least sufficient to reelect the president) may have stemmed from policies antithetical to his worldview. From the National Institute for Labor Relations Research:

Right to Work states (excluding Indiana [which didn’t implement its right-to-work law until earlier this year]) were responsible for 72% of all net household job growth across the U.S. from June 2009 through September 2012.  If these states’ job increase had been no better than the 0.85% experienced by forced-unionism states as a group, the nationwide job increase would have been less than half as great.  And the President wouldn’t have been able even to pretend the economy was in recovery.

April 23rd, 2012 at 2:27 pm
Indiana Labor Union: Right-to-Work is Enslavement

Once upon a time, liberals scoffed at the idea that legislation needed to be constitutional in order to be lawful.  Remember then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s infamous response to the question of where in the Constitution did Congress have the power to pass Obamacare: “Are you serious?”

Well, after the U.S. Supreme Court scared the daylights out of the liberal commentariat with pointed questions about Obamacare’s constitutionality, it seems that opponents of Indiana’s recent right-to-work law are trying their hand at interpreting the text instead of the spirit of the document.

The Daily Caller summarizes the argument:

Indiana’s law prohibits employers from making union membership a condition of getting or keeping a job. The union’s February lawsuit claimed the law violated its members’ Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of “equal protection” under the law.

But an amended complaint filed on Wednesday added a Thirteenth Amendment claim as well. The new lawsuit suggests that when nonunion employees earn higher salaries and better benefits because of the union’s negotiation on behalf of its members, the union has been forced to work for those nonunion employees for free.

And being forced to work without compensation, the union suggested in its revised lawsuit, is slavery.

It’s the height of hypocrisy for union leaders who’ve spent decades coercing membership and dues from any worker falling under their legally-sanctioned monopoly to claim that economic enslavement only occurs when its members have to subsidize benefits other people don’t value.

In a sane world, the union’s lawsuit would be thrown out with prejudice as a waste of court time and resources.

But this is the Age of Obama.  How much longer can it be before the Department of Justice and the National Labor Relations Board weigh-in with briefs defending the indefensible?

April 11th, 2012 at 6:10 pm
Right-to-Work a Boon for South Carolina’s Economy

The Wall Street Journal reports on the reasons French tire company Michelin is expanding its operations in South Carolina while reducing its employment footprint in the Midwest:

Pete Selleck, Michelin’s North America president, said the state has strong technical education resources and ready infrastructure. “South Carolina has a long history with technical colleges dating back to the 1960s,” he said. The state “is also one of the least unionized states in the country, which gives us the flexibility to focus on the customer.”

“There is no significant difference between nonunion and unionized plants other than a rule book in our unionized plants that tell us what we can and can’t do,” Mr. Selleck added.

The emphasis is mine, and it tells you all you need to know about where the growth opportunities are for companies, customers, and employees.

In another part of the article Michelin is credited with paying a starting wage of $20 per hour, about a third more than the $15 per hour required under the average union contract.

Better pay and no union dues?  Maybe the iconic bumper sticker saying “Work Union, Live Better” should be changed to read, “Work Union, Earn Less.”

February 24th, 2012 at 11:58 am
Podcast: CEI’s Vincent Vernuccio Discussed State Right-to-Work Statutes
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In an interview with CFIF, Vincent Vernuccio, Labor Policy Counsel at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, discusses Indiana’s passage of a right-to-work law that prohibits labor contracts that force workers to pay for union representation, and the impact of such statutes on jobs and the economy.

Listen to the interview here.

January 15th, 2011 at 6:26 pm
NLRB Pushing Card Check Through the Back Door

Here’s more proof the Obama Administration is bent on destroying the sovereignty of states.  The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is threatening to sue South Dakota, Utah, South Carolina, and, of course, Arizona, unless their attorneys general say new state laws protecting secret ballots for union elections are unconstitutional.

The NLRB construes its enabling legislation to allow employees to unionize if a majority signs cards stating that desire.  That process is called “card check” and allows union organizers to bypass secret ballots that protect the identities of those who don’t want the union.  All four states passed laws last November 2nd to guarantee workers in their borders of the right to a secret ballot.  Now, the NLRB says those laws conflict with current federal law, even though card check has not passed into legislation because it’s overwhelmingly opposed in Congress.

In effect, the pro-union forces running the NRLB are trying to do through administrative fiat what they can’t get passed through the legislative process.  Unless each state’s attorney general agrees with the NRLB in writing that the new law is unconstitutional, the NRLB will sue the states in federal court.  This is the same strategy the Obama Justice Department is using to challenge Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law Senate Bill 1070.

But tortured legal arguments can’t trump common sense:

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said he believes the state is on solid ground. He plans to coordinate a response with the other three states.

“If they want to bring a lawsuit, then bring it,” Shurtleff said. “We believe that a secret ballot is as fundamental a right as any American has had since the beginning of this country. We want to protect the constitutional rights of our citizens.”

What’s next in Obamaland?  Test oaths?

H/T: Associated Press

November 2nd, 2009 at 4:33 pm
Union Workers Punish Ford For… Succeeding
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Last week, we noted that American consumers rewarded Ford for refraining from bankruptcy and accepting federal bailout dollars by significantly boosting its share of domestic auto sales.

So leave it to unionized workers to react to Ford’s admirable success story in a very different way.  As we noted in our commentary last week, many market observers worried that Ford would face a competitive disadvantage vis-a-vis General Motors and Chrysler, which did accept bankruptcy and government largess.  All three Detroit automakers had been on a decades-long course of suicidal labor and business practices, but Ford chose to right its course the old-fashioned way, in contrast to GM and Chrysler.  For this, Ford was rewarded by American car buyers.

But not by union voters, who rejected a contract that would have brought Ford’s unsustainable labor costs in line with those maintained by GM and Chrysler after their bailouts.  As noted by the Associated Press, “workers weren’t convinced they should make more concessions, since Ford avoided bankruptcy and is considered healthier than its rivals.”

So there you have it.  Behave responsibly by reviving your business without taxpayer dollars, and unionized workers will punish you for doing the right thing.  We’ll check back in with these same union voters when they exclaim shock that their jobs disappear overseas or other non-union locales.