CHICAGO – Monday morning, Missouri became the 28th state in the nation to enact a Right-to-Work law, which means the state legislator and governor agreed that no one should be forced to join or pay money to a union as a condition of employment.
“Every state surrounding Illinois allows workers to decide for themselves whether they want to support or belong to a labor union – but Illinois does not give workers this freedom. Workers in Illinois deserve the same rights as their peers in surrounding states. It’s time to stop forcing Illinois workers to pay money to or join a union just so they can keep their jobs,” said Michael Lucci, vice president of policy at Illinois Policy Institute.
Indiana enacted a Right-to-Work law in 2012, and Michigan’s law became effective in 2013. Wisconsin enacted statewide Right to Work in 2015, and Kentucky did the same earlier this year.
Right-to-Work laws do not prohibit unions from existing in a workplace or limit any employee’s ability to join a union, Illinois Policy Institute said in a statement. "Rather, Right-to-Work laws allow workers to choose for themselves whether they would like to join or pay money to a union that may exist in their workplace. In states with Right-to-Work laws, employees cannot be fired for refusing to join or pay money to a union."
Since mid-2012, Indiana has added 33,100 manufacturing jobs; over that same time period, Illinois lost 20,500 manufacturing jobs.
Since mid-2012, Michigan has added 59,700 manufacturing jobs, Wisconsin has added 16,400 manufacturing jobs, Kentucky has added 16,800 manufacturing jobs, and Missouri has added 6,700 manufacturing jobs.
In supporting Missouri’s adoption of a Right-to-Work law, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce pointed out that jobs in Right-to-Work states grew by 8.6 percent over the last decade, according to an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Meanwhile, in forced-unionization states, jobs growth has been only 5 percent during the same time period. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, since 1990 Right-to-Work states have seen jobs growth at double the rate of forced-unionization states.
Now Illinois is surrounded with right-to-work states. Once again, Illinois is at the BOTTOM of a trend, and Illinois’ businesses who can’t get out of here will suffer, at least until THEY, too, can afford to leave.