Right to Work would be great for Delaware

November 28, 2017

It's time to support the Sussex County Council right-to-work ordinance. Recently the 14th Democratic Party Committee wrote a letter urging citizens to lash out at right to work. There were several problems with their statements. They claim the Supreme Court has already ruled that no worker may be forced to join a union.

This is false. The Supreme Court dealt a limited setback to organized labor, ruling that personal home-care employees in Illinois cannot be forced to pay union dues. But the justices refrained from extending the ruling to all public-sector workers.
The comment that hard, unbiased data is scarce is also false.

There are currently 28 right-to-work states. Within these states, trade unions are specifically barred from entering into an agreement with employers such that new hires would have to join their union or pay union dues as a condition of employment.

These laws protect employees from being compelled to belong to a union. There are a number of arguments in favor of right to work. (1) It respects an individual's constitutional right to freedom of association. (2) States that don't have forced unionism have lower unemployment rates than states that haven't adopted this legislation. (3) 'Right-to-work' states have higher economic growth due to increased job creation. (4) Political contributions made by unions are not always representative of union workers. (5) Organized labor has thrown its weight behind the little-known Employee Free Choice Act. This misnamed bill abolishes secret-ballot organizing elections and allows unions to press workers to publicly sign a union representation contract.

In 2008 a walkout by 27,000 assembly line workers shut down Boeing in Seattle. The strike cost the union members an average of $7,000 in base pay and cost the company $100 million per day in revenue and penalties with the postponement of delivery of 3,700 jets on backorder.

In 2011, Boeing made the decision not to open a second plant in Seattle and opened up a $750 million plant in North Charleston, S.C., a right-to-work state. Since then, Boeing workers have overwhelmingly rejected union organization at the plant. They did not do this because they were treated unfairly.

Tesla Motors announced plans to open a new battery factory in 2017. The facility, which will hire more than 6,500 people when it opens, will manufacture lithium-ion batteries.

The location for the new facility, which the company is dubbing the Gigafactory​, has yet to be decided, but Nevada, Arizona, and Texas are all being considered. (Not California, where they are based.) All right-to-work states. Tesla will be investing $2 billion into the 10 million-square-foot project.

Tyson Foods plans to build a new chicken production complex in right-to-work Tennessee, a $300 million project that will create 1,500 jobs when it begins operations in late 2019.

The statement that right to work would not attract business to our community here in Delaware is also false.

Charles Daniel, president of the Caesar Rodney Institute, a Delaware-based free-market think tank, explains how passage of right to work in Delaware would put the First State in a great position.

No state north or east of Delaware is right to work. Delaware could become the magnet and the only state in the entire region with a right-to-work law.

Passage of right to work in Sussex County would have an outsized impact due to the state's geography (Anthony Wedo, CEO, Greenville-based Premier Restaurant Group) due to its strategic location between Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Delaware has not had a strategic plan since the Banking Act of 1982. Right to work could be the foundation for the future.
In addition, the comment that such an ordinance is not within council's jurisdiction to consider is also false.

Two Delaware lawyers, Theodore Kittila, a lawyer representing Caesar Rodney Institute, and Kevin Fasic, a Wilmington-based lawyer, have explained to Sussex County Council, the constitutionality of local right-to-work laws was recently confirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th District, issuing a ruling in November 2016 upholding the constitutionality of Kentucky's local right-to-work laws.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently announced Oct. 2, that the highest court in the nation will not take up a challenge to the Sixth Court's ruling, putting the matter to rest.

Ask yourself this final question. What manufacturing facilities or large employers are scheduled to come to Delaware?
Do your research and let your county representative know that you support right to work.

Eileen Baty


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