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  • Indiana Enacts Right to Work; Arizona Moves to Restore Voters' Voices

    Indiana’s Senate yesterday passed—and Governor Mitch Daniels (R) signed—the state’s long-awaited right-to-work law, making it the 23rd state in the nation and the first state in the union-heavy Rust Belt to give workers the right to choose whether or not to pay union dues. Meanwhile, 1,700 miles away, Arizona is considering a bill that would restore voter control over government by, among other measures, stripping government unions of their collective bargaining power.

    Indiana’s move is a victory for the state’s workers—and the state’s economy. Now Hoosiers cannot be forced to pay union dues just to keep their job. This freedom makes union organizers a lot less aggressive, which attracts businesses investment. Heritage’s James Sherk explains that in counties in right-to-work states the share of manufacturing jobs is one-third higher than in adjacent counties in non–right-to-work states.

    Unions, however, bitterly oppose Right-to-Work: it costs them money. They do not want workers dissatisfied with their union representation to stop paying dues. That means less money in their coffers. Sherk writes that Right-to-Work will allow Indiana’s working families to save $18 million a year in previously forced dues.

    As Indiana makes its right-to-work move, Arizona—already a right-to-work state—is taking a significant step in restoring voter control over public policy and saving taxpayers money. The Tucson Citizen reports on the measures the state legislature is considering:

    Senate Bill 1485, sponsored by Sen. Rick Murphy, R-Phoenix, would ban collective bargaining in government.

    Three other bills also tackle the issue. They would: ban withholdings of any portion of workers’ wages to pay for labor dues; immediately ban third-party deductions from employee paychecks without annual authorization; and require government employees to do government—not union—business while on taxpayer time.

    The AFL-CIO is already shouting down the effort, calling Arizona the “New Wisconsin” and warning that the measures “would wipe out public-sector unions in our state.” However, the reality is that Arizona is taking measures that bring some common sense to the state’s public policy. Collective bargaining in government means that the voter’s elected representatives do not have final say on spending or policy decisions. Instead elected representatives must come to agreement with government unions before deciding public policy — leaving voters in the cold. As recently as 1959 the AFL-CIO agreed that this was undemocratic. Government unions negotiate contracts that benefit them at the public’s expense. But government should serve the public, not the other way around.

    Wisconsin saw this as a problem, with union contracts swelling to untenable costs, putting the state in dire fiscal straits. Arizonans, too, are rightfully concerned about their future — for them, under-funded government employee pensions are a serious problem, with only 78 percent of the state’s liabilities covered for current employees and retirees. And those types of costly benefits are oftentimes won at the behest of the government union special interest groups, regardless of the state’s ability to foot the bill.

    Despite the recession being over, unemployment still remains high, economic recovery remains slow, and states and local governments are facing busted budgets that are out of control. It’s no surprise that states like Indiana are seeking to improve their job-creating climate and that states like Arizona are trying to find ways to prevent more destructive spending in the future. Giving workers freedom in their workplaces — and voters control over their government — is a significant step forward.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Indiana Enacts Right to Work; Arizona Moves to Restore Voters' Voices

    1. Bobbie says:

      how can anyone in their average thinking or above minds prioritize unions over the work?? No wonder everyone is so frustrated. They don't realize union thugs are the members voice, causing all the mess we're in! Taking more from the business then the union workers hired, produce. Businesses have the right to hire the people who have the qualities needed in the business and fire people for any reason but including those infiltrators of trouble. Non-compliant. Incompetent. non-productive! Take the job and decide their religious beliefs should bias the companies policies! ? How unAmerican! How pathetic for both the trouble makers who's minds are capable in making decisions that don't trouble businesses for their selfishness and the company that complies with ANY personal religious beliefs that do not belong in the work place! Reasonable minds that protect their beliefs need to find a job the same or create their own businesses.

      For examples of non-compliance and incompetence, look at America's government in out of intentional and deliberate control.

    2. Myrtlelinder says:

      Wonderful, we have it here in SC, wish we could get it in all "57" states.

    3. MadMadMom says:

      Oh good, does mean the unionista's will turn their attention to AZ and leave us Wisconsinites alone?

      I'm only joking of course, I wouldn't wish these thugs on anyone…

    4. susie says:

      These labor union thugs, your great great grandfather knew them. They gave their lives so that today women would not have to work 14 hour days, children would be barred from the work place, you would be guaranteed a minimum age and required to work just 8 hours with two breaks and have two days off. It is because of them that you get a lunch break, and the work place is lighted and safe. In some areas of China, the workers are treated like slaves. When a worker succumbs and kills himself, another worker takes his place. How do these thugs, any more than lobbyists or the motion picture indistry which just got a free ride in Arizona, prevent elected officials from carrying out public policy? Maybe we should worry about corruption and influence peddling generally. While condemning big government, Governor Brewer has accepted $10,600 in federal assistance for every Arizona citizen. Name calling, "thugs" "hooligans" , distracts citizens from the real real thugs who keep elected officials from carrying out public policy– the big power brokers who sell and buy influence and votes with lobbyists and multimillion dollar contributions.

      • steve says:

        that is the point – great great grandfather. Unions served their purpose 40 – 60 years ago, now they are tit sucking, budget busitng thugs who use collective bargaining to get higher wages and benefits than the private sector employee who pays for their excess through increased taxes. If you want to go back to the old days, then take your sorry butt over to China and help them organize. Wake up, it is 2012 and many of the current contracts do nothing but bust state budgets.

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