Right to Work, Back to Work for Hoosiers
This session maybe short but will certainly not lack passion, intensity, interest and probably drama as the both the Indiana House of Representatives and the Senate tackle “Right to Work” legislation. There are many misconceptions being given to the general public about what the “Right to Work” bill is, and what it actually does. I hope to clarify a few points, or as some call it “RTW”.
Right to Work is a very simple and basic principle. It simply says that a person has the right to take a job and choose whether or not they want to join a union and pay union dues. Some businesses have what is known as “closed shops,” which means that if you get a job there, you are required to join the union. Although economic reports indicate that we have made progress with the incentives Indiana put into place last session, we still find ourselves dealing with a nine percent unemployment rate which is even higher than the Federal unemployment rate. That being said it is essential that we explore every opportunity to bring new business to Indiana and to put Hoosiers back to work.
Right to Work doesn’t prevent people from joining a union, does not prevent a union from collective bargaining, and it does not prevent a union from striking. Furthermore, it does not even prevent employees you work with from organizing a union if your workplace becomes unsafe or if employees receive unfair treatment from management.
There are currently 22 states that are “Right to Work” states. North Dakota, as a “Right to Work” state, has the fastest growing economy in the nation with the lowest unemployment rate at 3.5 percent. According to area economic development experts, 70 manufacturing clients were surveyed and asked to rank their top ten state business climate factors. Being a “Right to Work” state was ranked number three on their list. Speaking with many economic development experts, I have learned that Indiana has missed numerous opportunities over the last few years because businesses passed us over for “Right to Work” states. In these economically challenging times, we must give ourselves every advantage available when it comes to the quest for new Hoosier jobs.
Bringing jobs to Indiana is the main focus of “Right to Work”. RTW simply gives Hoosiers the freedom to decide whether or not to financially support a union. Many people consider the personal liberties side of becoming a RTW state to be just as important as economic factors. This is America and we believe in freedom and the right to freely associate with whichever organizations we choose.
In November Speaker of the House Brian C. Bosma announced that this is his number one priority for this legislative session. If you would like to support him in his efforts or have a personal story to share, please email H88@in.gov.