The House of Representatives in Indiana approved an act on January 25, 2012, that exempts non-union employees from paying dues when working alongside union workers, with a House vote of 55-41. In South Carolina, it was filed on the same day.
"Indiana's Republican-controlled House of Representatives has cleared the way for Indiana to become the first right-to-work state in the traditionally union-heavy Rust Belt," said HourlyTrends press releases.
With legislators criticized for not looking at the issue of Right to Work on the basis of economic facts rather than political ideology, in the typical crazed manner of U.S. politics, the Democrats view it as a way to bust unions for lower wages, while Republicans see it as a cost-cutting, job-creating tool, according to Bloomberg.
South Carolina's governor, Republican Nikki Haley, also states, "we don't have unions because we don't need unions…unions are not needed, wanted, or welcome in South Carolina." Yahoo!News reports that to further emphasize her point, Gov. Haley announced that she had signed an executive order on Tuesday, prohibiting striking workers from receiving unemployment benefits. She also put in a personal request to Newt Gingrich to become involved with the National Labor Relations Board over its suit against Boeing.
Gingrich and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) suggested that President Obama was engaged in a conspiracy to punish an “enemies list” of Republican-leaning states.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) recently reported that the newly adopted "Right to Work" law would be more likely to reduce workers' wages and benefits than anything else. Similar findings were found out by University of Notre Dame economic professor Marty Wolfson, in his article, "Right to work lowers wages!"
A recent oped by Speaker of the House Brian Bosma (2011) states that, when adjusted for the cost of living, wages in RTW states are actually higher than in non-RTW states. An October 2011 Fact Sheet from the National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRR) contends that the “Cost of Living-Adjusted Compensation Per Private-Sector Employee” is $1,155 higher in RTW states than in non-RTW states, according to the University of Notre Dam.
Political economist Gordon Lafer writes that " ...in Indiana and elsewhere, large sums of money have been devoted to backing RTW bills, with lobbyists claiming that RTW significantly improves both the number of jobs in a state and the wages people earn because companies that had avoided the state will flock there. The evidence shows that these claims are completely without scientific foundation. (AFL-CIO)
All 76 members of the South Carolina House Republican Caucus signed on as co-sponsors of the "Right to Work" legislation, which was filed later Tuesday. The House Republican Caucus expects to see quick action while prohibiting the use of Project Labor Agreement (PLA's) mandates on public construction projects.
Bloomberg reports that "anti-union measures have torn the Midwest since last year, when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, 44, pushed collective- bargaining curbs on public employees, causing weeks of protests and dividing the state of 5.7 million people.
"At least 1 million people have signed petitions to force a recall election for Walker, nearly as many as the 1.1 million who voted for him in 2010."