Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Nine reasons the Regional Chamber supports Right to Work

Right to Work is a policy priority of The Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana. Right to Work legislation prevents Indiana employees from being forced to join or financially support a union.

House Bill 1468: Right to Work has three aspects:
  • Makes it a Class A misdemeanor for an employer to require an individual to: (1) become or remain a member of a labor organization; (2) pay dues, fees, or other charges to a labor organization; or (3) pay to a charity or another third party an amount that represents dues, fees, or other charges required of members of a labor organization; as a condition of employment or continuation of employment.
  • Establishes a separate private right of action for violations or threatened violations.
  • Exempts individuals employed in the construction industry, employed by the United States, or subject to the federal Railway Labor Act.
The Regional Chamber supports this legislation for these 10 reasons:
  • At a time when the state revenues are tight, Indiana must look for opportunities to create an economic impact for little or no cost. Becoming a Right-to-Work (RTW) has no cost and would significantly improve Indiana’s economic competitiveness while providing more liberty to individual workers.
  • Right-to-Work is not an attack on workers, their wages, or the unions. It doesn’t prohibit workers from voluntarily joining a union, it only prevents workers from involuntarily joining a union.
  • It simply gives hard-working Hoosiers the choice to give part of their income to a union, or not. Especially in tough times like these, no worker should be forced to give part of their paycheck to an organization just to keep their job.
  • For workers who’d rather keep their paychecks, passing Right-to-Work is equivalent to giving those workers a raise.
  • The President of the Indiana AFL-CIO commented in a House Labor Committee hearing on February 15 that they support employees’ right to freedom of association. Right-to-Work guarantees that workers have the freedom of association -- whether their choice involves a union or not.
  • Because many companies decide to expand or relocate only in RTW states, Indiana could increase the number of opportunities to attract companies by approximately one-third, according to both Republican and Democrat economic development officials. Northeast Indiana has heard this feedback from several site-selectors.
  • Ultimately, becoming a RTW state isn’t about having a high-paying job or a low-paying job; it is about having a job or not having a job. That statement is supported by data since the average unemployment rate in RTW states is consistently below the average of the other states.
  • Over the past 30 years Northeast Indiana’s per capita income has decreased from above the national average to less than 78 cents on the dollar.
  • Our region has been hit hard by the changing economy and the subsequent unemployment, with many of our counties topping Indiana’s unemployed charts—we can’t afford to pass on this opportunity.
The legislation now heads to the House floor for a second reading. Stay tuned to this blog for further updates.

1 comment:

Dev Piprottar said...

Thanks to Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce for posting their support with reasoning. Great Job!

Dev Piprottar