Years ago, you could pretty much identify the union dominated states, and understood the role they played in turning out votes for Democratic candidates. With West Virginia’s vote to become a right-to-work state, there are now more states embracing right-to-work (26) than those that remain dominated by unions.

If you would have told me that unionized states like Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan, would vote to become right-to-work states, I would have thought you were out of touch with reality. But now they have all seen the light that if they want to energize their economy and create jobs, the solution is right-to-work.

To show how things have changed, during the 1930s the United Mine Workers of America had 800,000 members.

Now that number has dwindled to less than 10,000 active miners. Of course, President Barack Obama had a lot to do with this as he regulated mines into bankruptcy and with it the loss of thousands of jobs.

National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix is quoted as saying: “A West Virginia Right to Work law would free thousands of West Virginia workers who have been paying tribute to a union boss just for the privilege of getting and keeping a job, the law would also provide a much needed economic boost for West Virginia.”

Right-to-work states also have 1.3 percentage point lower unemployment rates than non-right-to-work states.

The American Legislative Exchange Council proposes that right-to-work states enjoy faster economic growth. From 2003 to 2013, for example, cumulative job growth in right-to-work states was 8.6 percent, compared with 3.7 percent in non-right-to-work states.

In passing the right-to-work agenda, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce maintained that: “States that have passed right-to-work have signaled to potential employers that they want job growth in their state and West Virginia is in no position to turn away this growth. New and innovative policies are necessary to compete in today’s job market and if right-to-work has an impact, we need to pass it.”

After Michigan became a right-to-work state, Dr. Brian Long, the director of supply management research at Grand Valley State University, is quoted as saying: “You hear the argument that right to work is the 'right to work for less' — but the evidence doesn’t show that. And when you consider cost of living, right-to-work states are doing even better.

Business-development officials have told me that two-thirds of major companies would not even look at Michigan when it was not a right-to-work state. Now that we are, there have been a lot of inquiries."

In fact, reports indicate that after Michigan became a right-to-work state, in May 2013, Michigan added 6,000 manufacturing jobs while Illinois, a compelled union state, lost 2,000 that same month.

After Wisconsin moved to become a right-to-work state, they reported the highest growth of manufacturing jobs out of any metro area in the U.S. over the past year (2015) and were ranked third in the nation by “Manpower” magazine for its “bright job outlook.”

To underscore the point, the following is testimony by James Sherk, Senior Policy Analyst in Labor Economics from The Heritage Foundation, who addressed the Committee on Labor and Government Reform for the Wisconsin Senate:

“Economic theory holds that unions operate as labor cartels. Unions only raise wages for their members by raising prices and reducing job opportunities for non-union workers. Few economists believe unions increase overall living standards.

Unions have responded with empirical research finding right-to-work states have lower wages. However, this research used statistically biased methods to control for costs of living. Correcting this reveals right-to-work laws have little effect on private-sector wages. Controlling for other factors, right-to-work states also have 1.3 percentage point lower unemployment rates than non-right-to-work states. Unions do not provide economic benefits that justify forcing workers to pay their dues.”

In The Spotlight

Sherk also referred to a recent study that compared companies whose workers narrowly voted to unionize with those who narrowly voted against unionizing. It found the unionized firms were 10 percentage points more likely to go out of businesses within seven years.

There’s little doubt that West Virginia is a harbinger of a coming sea change in worker rights and freedoms. States that adhere to the pressure of unionization will find themselves facing a competitive disadvantage and watch as skilled workers migrate to right-to-work states where they can seek employment with competitive wages.

All eyes are turning to California, where in June, the Supreme Court will issue their ruling on Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. This could make the whole public sector “right to work.”

The court will determine whether public sector unions can continue to collect so-called “fair share” or “agency” fees. If CTA loses, public employees across the country could opt out of membership and pay nothing for the union protections they ostensibly enjoy.

Union budgets — and strength — would be greatly diminished. The overt and omnipresent political corruption of public unions sending enormous sums of cash to the Democrat party for political favors will be turned back.

American workers deserve to decide whether they pay union dues or not. West Virginia is the latest to restore worker freedom and pride. When a state choices right to work, we are all more free and less corrupt.


Neal Asbury
About The Author Neal Asbury [Full Bio]
Neal Asbury, chief executive of The Legacy Companies, has published over 200 articles on global trade issues, writes for Newsmax, and is the author of Conscientious Equity. He frequently appears on cable news programs and hosts the nationally syndicated talk radio show Made In America.

Neal Asbury's Made In America

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