Flashback: 2007 Newspaper Editorials on House Democratic Plans to Gut Right to Work

On Sunday Feb. 4 the Sioux City Journal nailed what the Democrat’s plan is about: “Although the legislation technically would not repeal Iowa’s Right to Work law, its essential effect would be the same – forced unionism of workers.”

On Tuesday Jan. 30 the Wall Street Journal called the Democrat’s effort to gut Right to Work the “Iowa Emigration Act”.

The Journal stated “If the Iowa Legislature wanted to chase jobs and employers out of the state, they couldn’t come up with a better plan than undermining right to work.”

Also according to the Journal:
“Right to work laws are strongly correlated with faster growth in jobs and personal income.”

“A recent survey by the National Right to Work Institute found that, between 1986 and 2006, 11 right-to-work states have added 104,000 auto manufacturing jobs, a 63% increase. The non right-to-work states lost 130,000 auto jobs, or 15% over the same period.”

David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register noted in his column on Jan. 30 that,:
“…lawyers and others trying to craft the legislation to enact it are discovering that they can’t do it without gutting part of the right-to-work law. (That law also says it’s illegal to collect “dues, charges, fees, contributions, fines or assessments to any labor union, labor association or labor organization” as a condition of employment.)

Labor is saying, “You promised fair share.” Democratic legislators are saying, “You didn’t tell us we’d have to gut the right-to-work law to do it.” Labor replies: “So what’s wrong with that?”

On February 13th the Clinton Herald wrote: “Perhaps the words Fair Share don’t scare you yet – but they should.”

On February 13th, the Cedar Rapids Gazette wrote: “The “fair” aspect of the legislation seems to be more about “fare,” inasmuch as the measure has the potential to dump millions of dollars into unions, which have seen their ranks decline in recent years.”

The Gazette summarized it’s position: “As much as proponents would like to position the debate about winning one for the little guy, it is not. This issue is more fundamental than a classic labor-business clash. It is about the importance of individuals to make choices about where they work, and whether they want to be represented by a union. Being forced to do so is an infringement on the basic rights Iowans cherish.”

On February 10th the Mason City Globe-Gazette wrote: “To some it looks like a classic quid pro quo. Unions have been the most fervent backs of the Democratic Party and are licking their chops thinking now the Democrats control both house of the Legislature and the governor’s office in Iowa, it’s time for some payback that would boost union membership rates, which have been declining.”

The Globe-Gazette went on to write: “We’d like to see the issue go away. Fair share could be a real detriment to the state’s ability to attract new businesses. Various reports show some businesses won’t even consider locating in non-right to work states. But beyond that, fair share simply isn’t fair.”

On Febuary 13 the Burlington Hawkeye wrote: “In addition to bargaining contracts, unions are very politically and socially active. It’s simply wrong for them to compel someone to financially support an organization in which they have philosophical differences.

Unions sruggling to retain and grow membership should look inside themselves and create a marketing strategy to swell their ranks. They have something to sell to a new employee, and should put their expertise at that endeavor.”

On February 18th, the Des Moines Register wrote, “It is not exactly a repeal of Iowa’s right to work law, but it would have the same effect on businesses looking at Iowa.


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