By Cornell Gethmann, Chairman
The Iowans for Right to Work Committee
Labor Day is here. As the summer winds down, and fall begins to slowly fulfill its promise of cooler weather, so political campaigns all across Iowa are beginning to heat up.
Of course, the “hottest” issue over the past few years in Iowa politics has been the battle over our state’s 63-year old state Right to Work Law — the law that simply says that no Iowa worker can be forced to join or financially support a union just to get or keep a job.
It’s no secret union bosses hate the fact that they can’t force workers to “pay-up-or-be-fired.”
That’s why, after helping their Democrat allies seize control of the General Assembly and the Governor’s Mansion in 2006, Right to Work has been in danger.
Fortunately, polls have consistently shown that the vast majority of Iowa citizens understand “pay-up-or-be-fired” forced unionism is just plain wrong.
And a massive outpouring from grassroots opponents of forced unionism all across Iowa has helped keep the law on the books.
In addition to protecting Iowa workers from power-hungry union officials who care about little else than raking in forced dues, those efforts also helped protect Iowa citizens from feeling an even worse “crunch” during the faltering economy we’ve had on our hands for the past few years.
You see, over the past decade, private sector employment has grown five times as fast here in Iowa compared to Midwestern forced unionism states.
Not only that, but just since 2002, real personal income increased by almost 70% more here in Iowa than in Midwestern states without Right to Work.
That’s far from the end of it.
Studies that prove Right to Work’s economic benefits are too numerous to list, but the point is clear: Right to Work is good for workers and the economy as a whole.
In fact, even PHH Fantus, the nation’s leading business relocation firm, reports that at least half of businesses seeking to relocate or expand won’t even consider states without a Right to Work law.
So why would the General Assembly even think about destroying Right to Work during these tough economic times?
Why would some of our elected officials want to make it even harder to attract new jobs while many states are losing them left and right?
Sadly, the fight over Right to Work has always really been about money and power.
Thanks to the cool one billion dollars Big Labor spends every year on politics nationally, Democrat politicians are virtually “tied at the hip” to their union boss pals.
Nationally, we see elected officials like Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and occasionally a few browbeaten Republicans pushing bills like “Card Check” which would strip workers of their right to vote in secret ballot elections and open up workers to harassment, intimidation and worse from Big Labor union officials.
Here in Iowa, it’s Democrat Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, House Speaker Pat Murphy and Governor Culver pushing to repeal Right to Work.
These Iowa Democrats know that regardless of the cost to the economy and individual workers’ freedom, gutting Right to Work would mean millions more in forced union dues for their Big Labor buddies.
And they believe those millions will likely be spent on keeping them in power in Des Moines.
Fortunately, opponents of forced unionism saw through the scheme, and less than 60 days from Election Day, Organized Labor’s grip on the General Assembly and the Governor’s Mansion seems as tenuous as ever.
But should they hold onto their massive majorities, you can bet Big Labor Democrats will be more emboldened than ever to wipe Right to Work off the books.
Every Labor Day, we celebrate the individual workers who built our state and our country and help make it great.
This Election Day we should celebrate their freedom, as well, by celebrating — and protecting — their Right to Work.
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