There have been a lot of articles this week about right-to-work laws. Unfortunately, they are not just reprints from the 1950’s.
Fueled by the passage of right-to-work legislation in Indiana, the topic has been getting attention in newspapers, journals, and blogs. I’ve seen articles written by union supporters blasting the concept, and articles written my managers (and some politicians) claiming right-to-work laws are necessary for the economy. Most of these articles have lacked one thing – objectivity.
There was one article I saw that provided a good analysis, and it came from a source that is regarded as being pro-business, the Bloomberg News. The title spells out the theme of the article: Right to Work Laws Waste Tine for Politicians and Unions.
You can read the entire article at http://tinyurl.com/77tgfoa
The article points out these measures carry more symbolic importance to their proponents than is seen in reality. The authors state:
“A close examination shows that right-to-work laws are not as damaging to unions or as beneficial to state economies as the warring sides contend. Each wields powerful talking points, yet the supporting data is sparse. “
He article also discusses the belief that economic growth in right-to-work states is higher. This week, the Department of Labor announced the unemployment rate had dropped to 8.3%, the lowest in three years.
A state-by-state analysis of this data shows little correlation between these laws and unemployment rates. Many economic and other factors are more likely to be responsible for unemployment.
What we do know is very basic – rhetoric does not create jobs or keep them from leaving. It does prevent us from working together to build the kind of jobs the economy and workers need.