Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Poll: Hoosiers oppose right-to-work for less bill pushed by Koch brothers

The Benedict Arnold Koch brothers are at it again. Through one of their favorite front groups, American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, they're pushing right-to-work for less in Indiana.

Yesterday, Indiana Republicans teamed up with ALEC to promote the anti-worker proposal at the Statehouse. Reports the Indianapolis Star,
The Indiana AFL-CIO has questioned the validity of ALEC's assertions and notes that the group is largely funded by corporate donors.
Barbara Fick and Marty Wolfson, two Notre Dame professors, thoroughly debunked arguments for right-to-work for less in a South Bend Tribune op-ed:
Four of the five reasons assert, in one form or another, that a RTW law would attract businesses to Indiana. The committee stated that businesses often "exclude Indiana and other non-RTW states from consideration because of a perceived lack of flexibility and higher costs in their potential dealings with organized labor." However, the committee did not identify any specific employers that chose not to locate in Indiana because of RTW. 
RTW laws clearly limit the financial resources available to a union and therefore the ability of the union to negotiate higher wages and benefits for workers in its bargaining unit -- an effective way to limit the "higher costs" found in non-RTW states. 
But at the study committee's public hearings, many people testified that trying to attract businesses to Indiana on the basis of lower wages and benefits is a poor idea. Workers who are poorly paid buy less from local businesses and pay less in local taxes. Local economic growth and job creation are negatively affected, and local governments have less ability to improve infrastructure, job training, education and the quality of life -- all important considerations in the site location decision.
Fortunately, Hoosiers aren't buying what ALEC is selling. An Indiana AFL-CIO sponsored poll released yesterday shows,
...Hoosiers – including Republicans – reject partisan “right to work” legislation and believe their elected officials should focus on jobs and the economy instead of divisive attacks on working family’s collective bargaining rights.

The poll, commissioned by the AFL-CIO, found that support among Hoosier voters for the controversial union busting bill is weak, with just 38 percent favoring its passage while 47 percent stand in opposition. The survey also finds that 67 percent of Hoosiers disagree with Statehouse Republicans decision to make “right to work” their top priority and wish they would move on to other issues.
Meanwhile, Gov. Daniels' reputation for knowing how to run a state took a nosedive. He had to admit that the state misplaced $300 million. Later he said he'd found it. But as Charles Pierce points out,
Three years worth of corporate tax payments don't get sent into the state's general fund because of some kind of software cock-up? Even if that's completely true — and what are the odds there? — this doesn't say very much about Daniels's ability to run a government. Three years, and nobody noticed? Three years, and no bright young aide ever piped up with, "You know, a lot of our corporate tax revenues seem to have disappeared. Anybody look between the cushions on the couch?"