The right to work for less
by Thom Hartmann
posted Feb 2 2012 11:18AM
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels took his state backwards on Wednesday – signing legislation to make Indiana the 23rd “right-to-work” state in the nation. It’s the first state in ten years to go right-to-work and also the first state in the nation’s manufacturing belt to adopt a right-to-work law, which starves labor unions of much-needed funding.
So what can workers in Indiana expect now? First off – lower wages. It’s really right-to-work FOR LESS – as the average worker makes more than $5,000 less in wages a year in right-to-work-for-less states versus free-bargaining states. They can also expect less healthcare – as 21% fewer workers on average receive employee-sponsored healthcare in right-to-work-for-less states.
And finally – workers can expect more workplace injuries. Without unions to ensure safe working conditions – right-to-work-FOR-LESS states experience 51% more workplace injuries and deaths. So the only winners here are transnational CEOs who don’t give a damn about their workers – and don’t give a damn about democracy. That’s what unions are – democracy in the workplace – and they are just as essential to creating a stable middle class as democracy in our government. So Republican Governor Mitch Daniels didn’t just declare war on unions in Indiana – he also declared war on the middle class.
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