What is the definition of right-to-work when considered as a government policy?  It simply means that a person has the right to work at any place of employment without being forced to join a union as a condition of their employment.

Critics say that the right-to-work policy does not work.  They claim that is actually decreases pay, well let’s look at the data and see if they are correct.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s news site Michigan Capitol Confidential is reporting that after examining federal data that the right-to-work policy does not bring wages down but in fact the opposite is true it actually raises wages.

Now is that not we all want regardless of the policy or who supports it?

Today there are 25 states that have right-to-work laws in place and according to the MI Cap Con article 7 of 10 states with the fastest wage growth from 2013-2014 were right-to-work states.

Those ten states are as follows:

  • North Dakota: 3.97%
  • Wyoming: 2.61%
  • Idaho: 2.41%
  • Oregon: 2.36%
  • Illinois: 2.31%
  • Oklahoma: 2.29%
  • Nebraska: 2.17%
  • Iowa: 2.17%
  • Massachusetts 2.14%
  • South Dakota: 2.11%.

Of those 10 states North Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota all have right-to-work laws.

Well you might say who cares what about Michigan.

Well the right-to-work law started in Michigan in March 2013, and what happened?  Well Michigan’s’ average way grew from 2013-14.

Remember this is federal data, not proponents of the law.

Let us look at a neighboring state like Indiana, their right-to-work law took effect in March of 2012 and their average wage increased in the years after that.

Starting to possibly sound like a trend?

Let’s now look at the forced unionization states, according to the article:

From 2013-14, seven of the 10 states with the slowest wage growth were forced unionization states. Those states and their wage growth were: Nevada: 0.20%, Arizona: 0.47%, Delaware: 0.55%, Washington: 0.88%, West Virginia: 0.89%, Pennsylvania: 1.06%, Vermont: 1.09%, Tennessee: 1.14%, Maryland: 1.14% and Connecticut: 1.19%.

Delaware, Washington, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maryland, and Connecticut are forced unionization states.

Mackinac Center for Public Policy also found that per capita disposable personal incomes, calculated by the BEA with adjustments for each state’s tax burden, grew faster in, let’s all say it together: right-to-work states when compared to forced unionization states.

The Mac performed an analysis of household income growth for the past 25 years and what did it show: let’s all say it together, right-to-work states average significantly faster growth.

I am for any policy that works.  If the data consistently showed that right-to-work laws did not increase jobs and improve our wages I would not be a supporter of the policy.

We need to stop looking at what political party is a proponent or opponent of a policy and start looking at the results from those policies.

Let’s discuss this tomorrow (Monday) on my program, The Live with Renk show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.

Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.