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  • Morning Bell: South Carolinians Have a Right to Work

    This week, all eyes are on South Carolina as the Palmetto State votes on Saturday in the next Republican presidential primary contest. Jobs and the economy are rightly being debated by the entire political spectrum.

    It’s not the first time in the past year that South Carolina has been center stage when it comes to jobs in a country struggling to get back on its feet. Last year, the Obama Administration took aim at Boeing when the Seattle-based company sought to build a new assembly plant in Charleston, South Carolina, in order to produce the 787 Dreamliner. Enter the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which filed a complaint against Boeing alleging that the company decided to build the plant in South Carolina out of retaliation for union strikes at its Washington state facilities.

    At the center of the issue was the fact that South Carolina is one of 22 right-to-work states, meaning that workers there have the freedom to decide whether to join a union or not. Right-to-work laws block companies from firing workers for not paying union dues, thereby protecting employees’ right to work regardless of their support for unions. In the case of Boeing, the Obama Administration — by way of the NLRB — sought to prevent the company from making fundamental decisions about where to do business, all because it wanted to open a plant in a right-to-work state. (Ultimately, the NLRB dropped the case after union negotiators reached a deal that benefited their members in a union state.)

    Big labor, of course, abhors right-to-work laws because they threaten unions’ ironclad grip on employees — along with the dues they are forced to pay and the resulting political buying power the unions amass. (By some estimates, unions spent some $400 million in the last presidential election.) However, right-to-work laws have positive effects for states where they are adopted — in short, they bring much-needed jobs and investment. James Sherk, senior policy analyst in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation, explains:

    Businesses want to know that, if they treat their workers well, unions will leave them alone. Right-to-work makes that more likely — and businesses notice. Studies show right-to-work laws are a major factor in business location decisions. It was no accident that Boeing built its new 787 assembly line in right-to-work South Carolina. Neither was it coincidence that most new auto plants have been built in right-to-work states. More investment means more jobs.

    Consider two counties that border each other across a state line, one in a right-to-work state and the other not. These counties have similar economic conditions, similar demographics, and similar climates. But the county in the right-to-work state has an average of one-third more manufacturing jobs. Right-to-work laws encourage investment and job creation.

    Not surprisingly, other states are looking to follow in South Carolina’s footsteps. Indiana’s legislature is debating whether to make its state right-to-work, and legislators in Maine and Michigan have introduced right-to-work bills. They undoubtedly see the benefit of making their states more competitive and freeing employees to make decisions about whether or not to support unions.

    But that movement flies directly in the face of the Administration’s big labor agenda. Earlier this month, the President flagrantly ignored the Constitution by making three illegal appointments to the NLRB — an act that Heritage’s Edwin Meese III and Todd Gaziano described as a “tyrannical abuse of power.” Sherk explains that unions are looking to the NLRB to boost their ranks amid flagging support — just one in 10 nonunion workers wants to join a union.

    Given unions’ decreasing power — and the political debt that is owed to them — it’s not surprising that the NLRB took aim at right-to-work South Carolina or that the President flouted the law in order to make pro-labor appointments. Instead of promoting job growth, the left is promoting its political allies. Meanwhile, America’s unemployed workers are suffering the consequences of a ruling class that is putting unions’ special interests ahead of laborers.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    34 Responses to Morning Bell: South Carolinians Have a Right to Work

    1. Mary......WI says:

      I figure when Obama is NOT re-elected the unions will simmer down……unions won't have their "push over friend" in the White House. Being a Right to Work state encourages manufacturing, and other types of businesses to set up shop and provide jobs for Americans. America, America, God shed his grace on thee!

      • paddy says:

        i totally agree with you,if am rich or want to put up a new business i will not invest in a place where there is union ,it is like you a hammer hitting yourself, america cannot compete with china because of high production cost specially labor cost thats why most of the company that obama helped financially are failing because american won't buy them so expensive…unions are one of the reason..wake up people before it's too late,be responsibleof yourself don't rely too much from the politicians dulcet words and promises..obama called us lazy ,prove to him that we are not .

    2. Viet Nam Vet 67-68 says:

      Post my comments, they are 100% TRUE.

    3. Edward Ferguson says:

      Right to Work a Real American Decision!
      Non-Right to work(Union) A Communist Decision!

    4. victorbarney says:

      P.S. Morning Bell: You're simply going to hate September 16, 2012! It WILL KEEP YOU BUSY, BUT YOU'LL HATE IT! WATCH!

    5. ThomNJ says:

      The "progressives" absolutely do not like the "right to work" unless they get to choose for you. Recall the obamacare law? Check out the section: SEC. 5503. DISTRIBUTION OF ADDITIONAL RESIDENCY POSITIONS. "‘‘(iii) REDISTRIBUTION OF POSITIONS IF HOSPITAL NO
      LONGER MEETS CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS.—In the case where the Secretary determines that a hospital described in clause (ii) does not meet either of the requirements under subclause (I) or (II) of such clause, the Secretary shall—‘‘(I) reduce the otherwise applicable resident limit of the hospital by the amount by which such limit was increased under this paragraph; and ‘‘(II) provide for the distribution of positions attributable to such reduction…"

    6. Clearhead says:

      Having spent many years on both sides of the fence, it is abundantly clear to me that Unions in John L. Lewis' time were for the protection and well-being of employees. The metamorphosis that has occurred is nearly complete now, so that unions in barak obama's time are for the political convenience and well being of barak obama and his herd of union masters. So much for that part of the "change" — now we wonder where the "hope" lies.

    7. J.J. says:

      Very nice article. I wish everyone in Wisconsin would read this so they have a clue on how things work. The unions are out of control and into a crazed state that is ready to explode into violence against the Governor. They are worse than toddlers throwing tantrums for getting their toy gravy train taking away for not sharing with others. If they would only see that "right to work" laws promote job growth, they might shut the heck up. Then again, maybe they do know but don't care as long as they get what their selfish buttt wants. How long do the public union workers think they can keep working when, if they keep taking, there will be no more they can take from us because we are all suffering, and already making those sacrifices Obama and the left keep preaching. You on the left, and those in the unions need to join us, not step on us.

      • m.g. says:

        Nah, all you right-thinking types should just get the heck out of there and let the takers grow their own private Greece.

    8. Stephen says:

      Right to Work is a positive step for economic reasons. I worked in South Carolina in 1960 for West Virginia Pulp and Paper Co. and SC had its Right to Work law in effect at that time. I was harassed only twice by the union floor boss. After I told him I was leaving in 6 months to report to active Army duty; he backed off and never approached me again. He had threaten to "Make my life uncomfortable" but that threat disappeared with my Army obligation. In my view unions should be done away with; we have sufficient Laws on the books to protect workers from undue or unfair treatment. Right to Work makes sense and it is profitable to all concerned except the unions. Unions produce nothing but they cost everybody.

    9. DAV says:


    10. azwayne says:

      Everyone in the country ought to read and be aware of actions. Then ask your congressmen, what are they doing???/

    11. Chuck from Virginia says:

      It's unbelievably sad – and maddening – when something like badly-needed jobs is subjected to the childish political games played by Obama and his minions. It just emphasizes the hypocrisy rampant in his administration. . . it's not about the jobs at all, it's totally about political clout.

    12. James Lovell says:

      Unions, specifically union leadership, have become the most devisive, selfish, anti-business force in the U.S., all with the support of the Obama administration.

    13. Jim says:

      Two salient points, 1. if unions were so great workers would be flocking to join and not trying to leave; 2. unions spent an estimated 400 million on political activities and some of their pension funds are underfunded? go figure. sounds like fiscal irresponsibility to me and no Feds looking into this?

    14. Chuck Dreyer says:

      I read and understood the content of this article. A point — Boeing is no longer a Seattle based company; it is a Chicago based company. Why did Boeing choose Chicago over Dallas, New York City and others who made offers to 'the Board' when Boeing decided Washington State laws were too prohibitive? They chose Chicago? This is something you should investigate and provide insight thereto.

    15. toledofan says:

      The debacle in Wisconsin solidifies the extent of how much the unions have gotten out of control. Think about it , who is the union negotiating against, who is the person, the man or the corporation that the union thinks is screwing them over, who has the money the union wants? The answer is their neighbors, the people who live with them in their comunities, their family members, etc.. So, the question is who is the union really trying to protect and the answer is themselves, their bloated bureacracy and leadership hierarchy. How many teachers have been laid off, fired or displaced because of what Govenor Walker did? I'll bet the answer to that is zero.

    16. Russell says:

      The utilities, gas, electric and telephone, were given the status of a monopole because it was more efficient but there was a set of rules and a psc to enforce then. The government is a monopole. The constitution is the rule to regulate there action. The Supreme Court is suppose to enforce the rules. Is unions a monopole? If it is just what rules do they live by and who enforces them.

    17. bassboat says:

      Since less than 15% of the workforce is unionized I do not understand how the remaining 85% in a state that is not a right to work state can dictate to the majority, especially one that large. Could it be that the politicians on the right to work states are gutless reps who will pander to anyone? A 15% margin is not enough to worry with. Even if you threw in the public sector the union is still in the minority. It is time to elect politicians with a core value of freedom and not one that panders begging for votes. Freedom will always win out if you tell the people in ni uncertain terms the difference between it and serfdom.

    18. PADDY O says:

      If you have a trade and want to teach it to your brother, child or friend, you CANNOT do so if you belong to a union, without their permission. Has everyone heard about the Michigan couple who were forced to join a Union, because they took care of their handicapped child?

      Unions have developed into cults of forced participation.

    19. Bobbie says:

      The "right to work" shouldn't have ever been a government issue to the extent of unions prioritized above the "work." In a principled America, wouldn't it state the "right to have a union?" too much government intrusion and union favoritism holding back the responsibility and personal duty or "right" to provide for our families!
      Get both of all their wastes of costs and non productivity out and the accountable free market in!

    20. Brian says:

      Excellent educational summary on a law that is confusing to many citizens. Thanks

    21. Whicket Williams says:

      Elections have consequences Why you people elect who you elect will always remain a mystery to me. Ron Paul is the only politician I ever saw worth voting for.

    22. Dan says:

      How about a compromise…….By requiring unions to become non-profit organizations they would truly have the interests of the employees at heart and would end the “company be damned” attitude that some have.

    23. RennyG says:

      Noting new! The "king" is going to do whatever he wants, no concern about the law, constitution or anything! What is sad is no one is going to stand up to him. Have him arrested or something!!!! We keep talking about "voting," I think it is too late for that. Look at what he has done and continues to do on a weekly basis.The only one we can turn to for help is our Lord above!!!! PRAY!!

    24. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      The unions, since the '70s, have had an attitude the right to work is the right to shirk.

    25. Wayne Peterkin says:

      Unions have had only one real purpose for years. They exist to milk every single drop of salary and benefits possible from an employer for the minimum amount of work. In the process, union management may not only make a lot of money themselves, they can amass great political power, and as we know, power corrupts. Businesses move to places with a better business climate in general. They will pick locations with lower tax rates, less regulatory burden, lower labor rates, or simply less hassles such as right-to-work states. They will move overseas when necessary. It would be refreshing if we as a nation would wise up, recognize these basics, and make this country the best place to do business.

    26. Joseph McKennan says:

      A union is a gluttenous beast that is only interested in perpetuating itself. When you think about it unions are a minority that tries to dictate to a majority. They were evolved in necessity but have become what they were designed to prevent.

      I will not engage in clandestine axtivities— but unions will.
      I will not kill in the name of righteousness— but unions will.
      I am a supporter of democratic society- rule by majority. Unions say our way or nothing.

    27. bassboat says:

      Since less than 15% of the workforce is unionized I do not understand how the remaining 85% in a state that is not a right to work state can dictate to the majority

    28. Glenn Bergen says:

      As a retired aerospace employee, I have little or no use for the IAM. Boeing acquired the facilities in South Carolina , and Boeing management solicited the South Carolina employees if they wanted to be represented by the IAM; the employees voted to be a right to work shop. The primary reason , I believe, that Boeing chose South Carolina is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was about 2 years behind in the delivery dates and Boeing HAD to get caught up or risk heavy penalties or cancellations. Does the IAM ever consider that they are in competition with Airbus Industries? As i said earlier the best thing Lockheed and Martin Marietta did was eliminate as many IAM contractural positions once the 2 companies merged.

    29. harry ward ww11 vet says:

      It's SAD, pathetic, to realize that this great country is being steered by labor unions – power hungry-money hungry individuals with no one in mind but themselves and their leader is no one other than our esteemed President-BARACK OBAMA !

    30. Earl, QUEENS, NY says:

      Can anyone remotely imagine a GOP president making the kind of appointments who would reform the NLRA to the way it should be?? The leftists would be ranting galore and calling for impeachment!! Of course right-to-work laws are a good thing. And why stop there?? Why not also reform the NLRA to allow companies to establish 2-tier systems, whereby they can offer better wages and/or benefits to those employees who choose to opt out of the unions?? From my experience, those of us who are sensible enough to vote against unions and/or opt out should not be subject to the sweetheart contracts of those who were naively duped into voting for the unions. So many otherwise good workers seem to think that just because you join a union and pay dues that you have a genie in a bottle to give you a Utopian workplace. LOL!! If that were the case, wouldn’t everyone want to join a union?? Why are so many workers voting against unions?? And BTW, why won’t the OWS protestors protest against the 1% vs. 99% in unions?? That is – the 99% (workers) who are forced to pay dues and initiation fees out of low (often collusive) wages, while (the 1%) union officials collect multiple salaries and drive around in silver Cadillacs.

    31. Christopher Davis says:

      Unions need to be dissolved, reorganized, and molded into something that actually does help it's employees instead of forcing companies to hire UNION only jobs. Out here is San Diego, when a Union doesn't get the job, they hire illegals to come pickett and bark at people trying to discredit that business which does have an affect on that business, where the business was just trying to save a few bucks instead of paying for 3 times the salary of union guys and atleast a 1/4 of them are illegals that get fake Social Security numbers so they can get their work cards. Total bogus and Obama wants us to believe there is no longer an illegal worker problem..yeah right. Get rid of Unions and America would really prosper, small businesses like several of my friends' construction companies would grow instead of barely surviving. Unions are too corrupt, I use to have to pay Union fees out of everyone of my paychecks, eventhough I didn't belong to it and what did it get me in reutrn: NOTHING except less money in pocket.

    32. Jorge says:

      Boeing does not care about their workers in South Carolina where they are underpaid, and are working with less benefits and dealing with the most catastrophic program in aviation history. Workers in Everett (under Union) have much better pay and benefits. FYI, the pay raises in SC are cents per hour ($0.50 is considered an excellent raise) where in Everett the raise is $2 per hour. This is the Boeing role in South Carolina: less for the workers. This is the excellent benfit that the workers in SC get: less of everything

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