Unions Have Right to Violence

According to a 1973 ruling from the Supreme Court (the Enmons Decision), unions have “the use of violence to achieve legitimate union objectives.” This shocking video, produced by the National Right-to-Work Committee–shows the results of this misguided policy–escalating union violence. The best way for New Hampshire to help level the playing field is to enact Right-to-Work.

Right-To-Work Research

Recently I came across two interesting studies on the economic impact of right-to-work laws.  The author of both of these studies is W. Robert Reed who, at the time, was with the University of Oklahoma.  Not surprisingly, he was also in Oklahoma at the time that they enacted right-to-work in 2001 (the last state to do so).  Keep that background in mind since it contextualizes the abstracts below.

The first study is “The Impact of Right-To-Work on State Economic Development: Evidence from Idaho (pdf)” (with James R. Wilbanks):

“This paper presents new evidence on the impact of Right-To-Work (RTW) on state economic growth.  It investigates manufacturing employment growth in Idaho following that states’s adoption of RTW in 1986.  Idaho is the most recent state to adopt RTW, and the only state to have adopted RTW within the last 25 years.  Using a county-level analysis and comparisons based on alternative treatment and control groups, this study finds that manufacturing employment growth was significantly greater in Idaho than in the control groups.  Medium-sized rural counties appear to have received the greatest benefit from the adotion of RTW.”

The second study is “How Right-to-Work Laws Affect Wages (pdf):

“I examine the wage effects of Right-To-Work (RTW).  Using state-level data, I estimate that, ceteris paribus, RTW states have average wages that are significantly higher than non-RTW states.  This result is robust is [sic] across a wide variety of specifications.  An important distinctive of this study is that it controls for state economic conditions at the time states adopted RTW.  States that adopted RTW were generally poorer than other states.  Failure to control for these initial conditions may be the reason that previous studies have not identified a positive wage impact for RTW.”

So, RTW leads to greater employment and wage growth.  As such, this is a win-win for both the private and public sector since greater employment/wage growth will lead to higher tax collections. Not to mention that enacting RTW itself doesn’t cost New Hampshire state government a dime in lost revenue vis-a-vis tax cuts.

Let’s hope the House can eventually muster a veto override of the right-to-work bill (HB 474).

Wall Street Journal Weighs in on New Hampshire’s Soon-to-be (?) Right-to-Work Law

The Wall Street Journal recently had this to say about New Hampshire’s soon-to-be (?) Right-to-Work Law:

Twenty-two states have right-to-work laws, most of them in the faster-growing South and West. The big news is that New Hampshire is edging closer to becoming the 23rd, which would make it the first new right-to-work state since Oklahoma in 2001 and could lead to a regional revolution.

The state House and Senate in Concord have passed a right-to-work statute, but Governor John Lynch, a Democrat, vetoed the bill. On May 25 the legislature will attempt to override that veto, and House Speaker Bill O’Brien says he is “cautiously optimistic” that he can gain the two-thirds majority to do so.

This would be a landmark victory for the right-to-work movement. All other Northeastern states operate under forced-union rules, so the Granite State would gain a decisive competitive advantage over its neighbors in attracting investment and jobs. “Passing right to work on top of not having an income tax could make us the Hong Kong of the region,” Mr. O’Brien says. The precedent would put enormous pressure on Maine and Massachusetts to follow. We assume Vermont is hopeless and prefers to be a tourist and natural history museum.

Right-to-work laws don’t outlaw unions. They simply allow each individual worker to decide whether or not to join the union. In compulsory-union states, workers employed in unionized workplaces are required to have union dues withheld from their paychecks as a condition of employment, so there’s big money at stake here for unions.

The issue has taken on national prominence since the National Labor Relations Board announced it will try to block Boeing’s new airplane manufacturing plant in right-to-work South Carolina. Boeing decided to build its second plant for its 787 Dreamliner outside of Washington state, which imposes compulsory union rules and has been the scene of many work stoppages at Boeing.

The Boeing incident underscores that more businesses are migrating each year to states with right-to-work laws. It’s no accident that so many of the foreign auto plants in America that employ tens of thousands are located in right-to-work southern states like Alabama, South Carolina and Texas.

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the consulting firm Haver Analytics show that private business creation was 46% higher in right-to-work states (497,000 new businesses) than in forced union states (340,000 new businesses) from 1993 to 2009. That’s a remarkable difference given that about 60% of American workers reside in non-right-to-work states.

This year five states have tried to adopt right-to-work laws, but it appears that unions have stopped them everywhere except in New Hampshire. It is a sad testament to Big Labor’s financial and political influence that not a single one of the more than 100 House and Senate Democrats in New Hampshire voted for right to work. These politicians would deny the right of 68,000 unionized workers to choose for themselves whether to stay in the union, no matter how much that hurts the working families they claim to speak for.

And keep in mind that the House votes to override the Governor’s veto tomorrow (Wednesday).  If you haven’t already, make sure your Legislators know that New Hampshire needs Right-to-Work.