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Right-To-Work Laws Ranked State by State

November 18, 2016

Examines a recently published study by Priya M. Abraham, a senior fellow with the Commonwealth Foundation titled Transforming Labor: A Comprehensive, Nationwide Comparison and Grading of Public Sector Labor Laws.

Priya M. Abraham, a senior fellow with the Commonwealth Foundation, recently published a new study titled Transforming Labor: A Comprehensive, Nationwide Comparison and Grading of Public Sector Labor Laws. The study evaluates 11 key measures that directly affect taxpayers and public employees. The key measures in the study are legality of collective bargaining, cope of collective bargaining, union release time, legality of worker strikes, binding arbitration, union contract negotiation transparency, union certification, opt-out windows, exclusive representation, paycheck protection, and right-to-work legislation.

Twenty-two states failed to obtain a passing grade in Abraham’s report, earning either a “D” or “F” grade. For many of these states, the most important factor was the negative impact public sector labor laws are having on taxpayers and government workers.

Only seven states were given a rank of A+: Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Elizabeth Stelle, director of policy analysis for the Commonwealth Foundation, argued in a recent American Spectator article public sector labor issues extend far beyond a state’s right-to-work status, stating, “Even highly graded states will see areas for improvement, including transparency in contract negotiations, legality of worker strikes, workers’ rights in leaving a union, and paycheck protection laws. These are reform areas that can guarantee greater protections of government workers’ freedom of association.”

In a recent Research & Commentary, Heartland Senior Policy Analyst Matthews Glans discusses right-to-work laws, how they create new jobs and foster economic and population growth, and the new right-to-work proposals now being considered in multiple states. “Over the same period, seven of the top 10 job-producing states had right-to-work laws in place, according to data provided by the U.S. Department of Labor,” Glans wrote.

Right-to-work laws create new jobs and foster economic and population growth. State lawmakers should consider implementing right-to-work legislation in those states that currently don’t have this important reform, a decision that is sure to reap significant economic benefits.
 

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Taxes
Author
Nathan Makla is a former state government relations manager for the Government Relations Department at The Heartland Institute.