Letters to Our Leaders: Laboring for a Solution


Automotive production in the United States is moving south. Yes, Indiana has been successful recently in attracting Honda and incorporating a Toyota expansion into the existing Subaru facility in Lafayette, but those have been exceptions rather than the rule.

Since Nissan chose Smyrna, Tennessee for a plant location in 1983, the Volunteer state and neighbors in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina have become attractive locations for BMW, Kia, Honda and others. Good transportation and a strong workforce are two of the reasons. The biggest, according to some, is that these are right-to-work (RTW) states that allow the automakers (and other major employers) to avoid union concerns.

The 22 states with RTW laws have seen dramatic increases in economic development and personal incomes compared to those lacking the RTW measures. It’s not the lone reason, of course, but one that deserves full consideration.

One of the keys to progress for any state is standing out from the others. RTW would do that for Indiana in the Midwest and on a national level.

This week’s Letter to Our Leaders has the details.

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0 thoughts on “Letters to Our Leaders: Laboring for a Solution

  1. I wish we didn’t have the right to work law in Mississippi,Basically it means: “the right to work for peanuts with no benefits” for me,Every year the companies cut back benefits and insurance and your annual raises are around 1 to 3%,It doesn’t even begin to keep up with inflation!
    Were can’t even keep out heads above the water with laws in place like this for the big companies.If you own a company I can understand why you would want this law,But as for the working class?Who are you kiddin? Companies will take advantage of this,It means more profits for them while “standing on the backs of the working class”.

    “You guys better think twice about passsing such a law”!!!

    As for me,I will be moving to a more Union friendly state very soon if I can manage to save up enough to move.There’s only 2 classes of people here,The Rich and the Poor,No middleclass.Like I said you better think twice about it.

  2. Your raises are the exception to the norm. I’m not going to bury everyone in numbers, but personal income in Oklahoma (the most recent state to adopt RTW)grew 13.6% from 2003 to 2006. From 1970 to 2000, RTW states created more than 1.4 million manufacturing jobs, while non-RTW states lost 2.18 million manufacturing jobs.

    Indiana and other states will never regain the excessive pay and benefits offered in the past by the General Motors of the world. But employees won’t keep their jobs (with good salaries and rising incomes) at all unless their companies are succeeding. Both can be accomplished.

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