Labor-state wants out

Related story: "The 28 labor-states"

Most states mandate union-dues as a precondition of employment

Indiana is losing out on several fronts by not having a right-to-work law that prohibits requiring union membership or financial support as a condition of employment. This comes from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce today in its fourth public policy letter from its board of directors to the state’s two major party candidates for governor.

“By not having a right-to-work law, it basically handicaps the state’s ability to win more new jobs and immediately takes us out of the running for many projects,” surmises Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar. “Economic development professionals repeatedly stress that it’s a strong factor in business investment and relocation.”

Existing jobs are also lost each year because of the absence of a right-to-work law Brinegar asserts.

“For instance, at the end of 2007, the Colgate-Palmolive Company closed its factory in Clarksville and moved to a right-to-work state. That decision cost nearly 500 Hoosiers their jobs.”

In total, 22 states have right-to-work laws. The Indiana Chamber notes that workers in these states enjoy higher incomes. Oklahoma – the last state to adopt a right-to-work law – has since seen its real personal income grow by 13.6 percent between 2003 and 2006, according to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research. That’s also more than twice as fast as the overall personal income growth average in the 28 non-right-to-work states.

Brinegar says Hoosiers are becoming more and more aware of the situation. “A recent survey by Indiana Business for Responsive Government (the Indiana Chamber's political action committee) found that over 70 percent of statewide respondents said they favored a right-to-work law.”

The letter calling for making Indiana a right-to-work state plus the accompanying video commentary can be found at www.indianachamber.com/letters. There, Hoosiers can also view the timeline and subjects for all of the letters, as well as take the opportunity to share their thoughts on the Chamber blog.

The series, called “Letters to Our Leaders,” continues through August 26, with one letter released weekly to the general public and the candidates on a key issue area that needs attention from state government. These messages are distributed on behalf of Indiana Chamber’s 125 board members that represent 4,800 member companies employing 800,000 Hoosier workers.

Source: Indiana Chamber of Commerce


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