Sunday, February 06, 2011

Hoosier Workers Under Attack in State Legislature

Backed heavily by out-of-state corporate interests, the Indiana legislature has introduced so-called “Right to Work” legislation that is designed to wipe out unions and weaken workers’ ability to bargain. Despite its clever name, “Right to Work” has nothing to do an individual’s ability to work. It is about trying to weaken or eliminate the strength of the collective voice of workers in the workplace.

Negative impacts of “Right to Work”:

  • Drives down wages for all workers: Union and non-union workers in states with these laws make an average of $5,538 less a year than those that live in states without the law.

  • Reduces benefits for all workers: Employers in “rtw” states are less likely to offer benefits and workers are losing health insurance coverage 70 percent faster than those in other states.

  • Drains Billions for Indiana’s fragile economy: With the reduction of wages and benefits, Indiana’s economy stands to lose an estimated $17.3 billion as fewer dollars are circulated through the economy by Hoosier workers.

  • Hurts workplace safety: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the rate of workplace deaths is 50 percent higher in “rtw” states.

  • Reduces the overall quality of life: In addition to the decreased buying power of those in “rtw” states, the infant mortality rate is 16 percent greater while the poverty rate for all people is 19 percent higher and is 26 percent higher for children.

  • Does not create jobs: Despite what the opposition would have you believe, “rtw” laws have no positive impact on states’ economies. Indiana’s unemployment rate is currently 9.8%. North Carolina, a state with a comparable population and economic base that has “rtw” laws on the books has an unemployment rate of 9.7%.
source: USW