Chamber RTW Resource Page
What is Right to Work?
Right to Work legislation prohibits the practice of requiring union membership, payment of union dues or fees as a condition of employment. It prohibits an employee from being fired for non-payment of union dues or fees.
Right to Work legislation does not eliminate the right of unions to organize employees nor does it prohibit a union from bargaining collectively on behalf of its members. It gives the employee the freedom to choose whether or not to join a labor union.
Right to Work legislation is permitted under provisions of the federal Taft-Hartley Act passed in 1947. This law allows States to prohibit closed shops which force an employee to be a member of the union as a condition of employment.
What States have Right to Work Laws?
There are currently 22 states, mostly in the South and West, which have passed Right to Work legislation. The last state to pass a Right to Work law was Oklahoma in 2001.
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
What is the Future for Indiana and Northeast Indiana
Passing Right to Work legislation would encourage businesses seeking to relocate or expand to consider Indiana, facilitating economic development and job growth in Northeast Indiana and the state. Such economic expansion would revitalize the state’s overall economy and create jobs, broadening the state’s tax base to better provide for needed state and local services, without increasing the tax burden on the current business community and citizenry of the state.
What are the Benefits of Right to Work?
- Economic Development experts and site selectors have stated 25%-50% of businesses automatically exclude Indiana from the list of possible sites for relocation because it is not a Right to Work state.
- With an unemployment rate of 8.6%, Indiana needs to provide all the economic development tools available to attract and retain businesses.
- Right to Work would give Indiana the opportunity to compete for more business relocation and expansion projects.
- Economic data has shown that between 1999-2009, the aggregate all-industry GDP of the 22 Right to Work states grew by 24.2%, that is 40% more than the gain by the 28 non-Right to Work states as a group.
- Recently, a study by economist Richard Vedder found that from 2000-2009 more than 4.9 million Americans moved from non-right to work states to Right to Work states.
- In 2009, there were 20% more young people (age 25-34) in Right to Work states than in 1999; in compulsory union states, the increase was only 3.3%.
- Northeast Indiana has exemplary higher education institutions, yet we are continually fighting the flight of young professionals from our community.
- Indiana needs to retain our valued workforce. By passing Right to Work legislation more businesses will choose to locate here, creating more jobs and economic growth.
Right to Work legislation protects workers and gives them the freedom to choose whether or not to join a union. It gives workers flexibility that they currently do not experience.
- Indiana has fallen behind the nation in per capita income.
- A study by economist Richard Vedder has found that between 1977 and 2008 Indiana’s real per capita income grew only 37.2% compared to Right to Work states that grew 62.3%.
- If Indiana had passed Right to Work legislation in 1977, by 2008 per capita income would have been $2,925 higher.
- If Right to Work is passed today, it is projected to increase per capita income by $968 by 2021.