Right-To-Work States: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Over The Past 25 Years, Job Growth In Right-To-Work States Has Been Over Twice As High As In Unionized States:

“Congress established the National Labor Relations Board in 1935 to administer the National Labor Relations Act, the law that gives workers the right to organize and that governs relations among unions, employees and employers.  The board has jurisdiction over all private-sector workers except those employed in railroads, airlines or agriculture.  Over the past 25 years job growth in right-to-work states has been over twice as high as in unionized states, 51 percent compared with 21 percent.  Between 2000 and 2010 employment has grown by 2 percent in right-to-work states and declined by 4 percent in unionized states.  Private-sector union membership peaked in the 1950s at 36 percent of the work force.  Now, only 12 percent of all American workers and 7 percent of private-sector workers belong to unions.” (Diana Furchgott-Roth, “Americans Dodge Unions, But Feds Insist On Them Anyway,” Washington Examiner, 12/23/10)

Obama Administration’s NLRB Looks To Implement Job-Killing Policies:

“Americans are leaving states with heavy union influence and choosing to live in ‘right-to-work’ states with higher job growth where they cannot be forced to join a union as a condition of employment.  With the 2010 census, nine congressional seats will move to right-to-work states from forced unionization states.  And Americans elected a substantial majority of Republicans to the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress.  People will be safe in 2011-12 from the Employee Free Choice Act, a union-supported bill that would take away workers’ rights to a secret ballot in union elections and impose mandatory contracts between newly unionized firms and workers.  But the Obama-controlled National Labor Relations Board isn’t listening.  It wants to do everything in its power to tilt the playing field toward unionization, even if it means lost jobs … Despite a national unemployment rate of 9.8 percent and Americans’ unequivocal preferences for jobs, the board is taking matters into its own hands to expand union power.” (Diana Furchgott-Roth, “Americans Dodge Unions, But Feds Insist On Them Anyway,” Washington Examiner, 12/23/10)

NRLB Files Complaint Against Boeing:

“We knew that Big Labor had political pull at the Obama-era National Labor Relations Board, but yesterday’s complaint against Boeing is one for the (dark) ages.  By challenging Boeing’s right to build aircraft in South Carolina, labor’s bureaucratic allies in Washington are threatening the ability of states to compete for new jobs and investment – and risking the economic recovery to boot … The NLRB obliged with its complaint yesterday asking an administrative law judge to stop Boeing’s South Carolina production because its executives had cited the risk of strikes as a reason for the move.  Boeing acted out of ‘anti-union animus,’ says the complaint by acting general counsel Lafe Solomon, and its decision to move had the effect of ‘discouraging membership in a labor organization’ and thus violates federal law.  It’s hard to know which law he’s referring to.  There are plentiful legal precedents that give business the right to locate operations in right-to-work states.  That right has created healthy competition among states and kept tens of millions of jobs in America rather than heading overseas.  Boeing has also expanded its operations in Puget Sound while building its South Carolina presence.  Ultimately, the NLRB seems to be resting its complaint on the belief that Boeing spent nearly $2 billion out of spite, which sounds less like a matter of law than of campaign 2012 politics … Beyond labor politics, the NLRB’s ruling would set a terrible precedent for the flow of jobs and investment within the U.S.  It would essentially give labor a veto over management decisions about where to build future plants.  And it would undercut the right-to-work statutes in 22 American states – which is no doubt the main union goal here.  With a Republican House, Mr. Obama’s union agenda is dead in Congress.  But it looks like his appointees are determined to impose it by regulatory fiat – no matter the damage to investment and job creation.” (Editorial, “The Death Of Right To Work,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/21/11)

NLRB Threatened To Sue Four States Over Secret Ballot Amendments:

“The National Labor Relations Board has threatened to sue the states of Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah over recently passed state constitutional amendments that require secret-ballot elections before a company can be unionized.  The board says the states can’t override federal law that gives workers the option of the so-called card-check method of organizing, which unions favor but many employers oppose.  Both methods of organizing are legal under federal law, the NLRB said in a letter to state attorneys generals on Thursday.  The difference is that unlike secret-ballot elections, card check simply requires union organizers to collect a majority of signed petition cards from employees backing unionization … In his letter to the state attorneys general, acting NLRB general counsel Lafe Solomon said the board had authorized him to bring a civil action in federal court to invalidate the amendments.  Mr. Solomon also said the agency was willing to first discuss any alternatives the attorneys general might have.” (Melanie Trottman, “Labor Board Warns On Secret Ballots,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/15/11)