Credibility Matters in Right-to-Work Studies

In this year of divisive issues at the Indiana Statehouse, right-to-work will undoubtedly lead the way. Scheduling of a House committee hearing for this morning led some to believe a Democrat walkout wouldn’t be far behind. That would be a shame if it took place; let the issue be aired and the people decide through their elected representatives.

It’s also generated competing studies. The Indiana Chamber commissioned its report in 2010 and it was released on the last day of January. Right-to-work and Indiana’s Economic Future found that instituting a RTW law would increase Hoosiers’ per-capita income by nearly $1,000 for a family of four over the next decade. Separate polling also noted that Indiana voters favor RTW by a 3-to-1 margin.

Late last week the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) responded with a paper that asserted that wages are lower in the 22 RTW states than the 28 non-RTW states.

Who should you believe? The Chamber work was produced by Ohio University economists with years of experience and expertise at the national and international levels. EPI is a home for former and current labor union leaders who are desperate to protect their quickly evaporating financial monopoly as union membership continues to dwindle. In the Chamber-released poll conducted by a national firm with a strong national reputation, even 44% of union workers (despite the rhetoric from their leadership) were supporters of RTW.

Here are some of the current members of the EPI board of directors (according to its web site; some of these individuals are no longer union presidents but remain influential leaders):

  • President for the International Association of Machinists union
  • Chair of the Change-to-win labor federation
  • President of the Communications Workers of America union
  • President of the United Steelworkers of America union
  • President of the United Autoworkers Union
  • President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union
  • President of Workers United union
  • President of the Service Employees International Union
  • President of the AFL-CIO union
  • President of the American Federation of Teachers union

Who you going to believe? The Indiana Chamber directly represents the 800,000 employees at nearly 5,000 member companies across the state. If those workers aren’t able to succeed, then Indiana will not succeed. Or you can go with the union leaders clamoring for any way to protect their forced membership livelihood.

RTW does not get rid of unions. It lets the workers decide instead of the union bosses. Sounds fair, doesn’t it?