S. Moody: Benefits of right-to-work


In a Jan. 25 Sun Journal story regarding right-to-work, there were some key errors and misinformation that could take away from the fact that RTW can greatly benefit a state’s economy.

The first quote from a union-supporting group stated that “I would doubt one in 1,000 Americans even knows what right-to-work is.” So what? The Maine Heritage Policy Center study showed that people were leaving Maine for RTW states because those states have better jobs. Does that mean that one would have to know what RTW is to motivate their leaving? No, of course not.

Also, a common-sense point made in the report was ignored. The story said that Oklahoma became a RTW state in 2001 when the legislation passed; however, as the study clearly stated, the practical effects of RTW didn’t occur until 2003, because the law was held up in court. So instead of Oklahoma losing jobs, it actually gained more than 25,000 jobs in five years after the RTW law cleared the courts.

The story also claimed that, “Under federal law, workers cannot be forced to join a union as a condition of their employment.” That is inaccurate. The Taft-Hartley Act outlawed outright “closed shops,” but: “Union shops, still permitted, require new recruits to join the union within a certain amount of time …”

Maine could benefit greatly from a right-to-work law, but it seems that unions put their own interests ahead of improving Maine’s economy. It’s time to put Maine’s economy ahead of union interests and pass right-to-work.

Scott Moody, chief economist

Maine Heritage Policy Center, Portland