Category: Your Voice Published on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 12:28 Written by Stacy Swimp
According to the 2010 census Black citizens in Detroit are number one in terms of percentage of total city population, at 84%.
Sadly, Detroit has one of the worst job markets in the nation. Its unemployment rate is above 17%, which is double the national level. It is also double the rate of unemployment for the State of Michigan.
According to Professor Richard Vedder’s Economic Impact Study on Michigan, from 1977 to 2011, per-capital income in right-to-work states grew by 57.4 percent. In contrast, non-right-to-work states grew by only 50.9 percent. Unfortunately, Michigan’s growth was a paltry 23.8 percent. The implication is that States with Right to Work Laws have attracted new jobs at double of the rate of the State of Michigan.
Other factors to consider, as to the benefit of a Right to Work law are:
• Net pay, factoring in cost of living changes across this great nation, is typically about $2000 higher in right to work states.
• The share of manufacturing jobs in counties in right-to-work states is one-third higher than in adjacent counties in non–right-to-work states.
• Nine of the last 10 auto factories were built in right to work states. The national UAW contract is more than 2700 pages. Employers are voting for labor freedom in their selection of business locations.
• Michigan has lost several big employers and, subsequently, jobs, to right to work states.
• Indiana has added about 250,000 new jobs since passing right to work earlier this year. One in every five jobs created in America this year are in Indiana.
• Michigan has lost over 800,000 jobs in the past ten years, as a non-Right to Work State
Nevertheless, many Black workers are allowing themselves to be used by unions to push the false propaganda that a Right to Work Law "makes it harder for Black people". Union leaders are using misleading scare tactics, such as saying that “right to work means right to fire”, which they say will particularly harmful to Blacks.
“Detroiters do not fully understand the right-to-work law because financial illiteracy is a serious problem in the city. Most rely on Mildred Gaddis and other radio personalities, tabloids and paranoid union leaders to feed them miss-information about the need for right-to-work.”, says Akindele Akinyemi, noted Educator. He adds: ‘As far as Black Americans fighting against right-to-work let me say it's more of the old guard of leadership that are fighting against this. Not the young people. Most young Black Americans are looking to get into entrepreneurship, so right-to-work will benefit them more than what the old guard of leadership is discussing. Businesses in right-to-work states tend to be more productive — without shortchanging workers — and this gives them a competitive advantage over unionized states.”
The fact is that, contrary to the “scare tactics” of union bosses, Right to Work Laws do not give employers the ability to fire employees "at will", making Black workers especially vulnerable to losing their jobs.
A Right to Work Law empowers workers, giving them the option to choose whether or not to join unions without suffering backlash, such as employer or union retaliation. The law also means that workers may resign union membership, when they so choice, devoid of any consequence.
Mark Mix, CEO/President of the National Right to Work Committee, weighed in on the important of this bill being passed: “Nearly 80 percent of Americans support the principle that no worker should be forced to pay union dues to get or keep a job. Moreover, Right to Work laws are proven job creators that enjoy bipartisan support in 23 states across the country.”
“Voluntarism and free association are quintessential American ideals and we applaud Michigan’s efforts to embrace worker freedom and individual choice in regards to union affiliation.” concludes Mr. Mix
Right to Work Laws are truly a matter of improving quality of life and worker protection, as it prevents both employers and unions from pressuring, coercing, or forcing any worker to join a union or to keep union membership as a condition of employment.
At the end of the day, however, Right to Work really comes down to one thing: JOBS.
Jimmy Greene, CEO/President, of Associated, Builders and Contractors, Greater Michigan Chapter, sums it up profoundly: “It's about jobs. Right to Work isn't about people who live in the State or even businesses that do business in the State since they are unaffected. On the other hand, Right to Work is an advertisement to businesses that don't do business here. It's a welcome, an invitation to bring their business here and that is a benefit to all Michiganders; and in particular those dramatically under and unemployed.”
The reality is that no one in the State of Michigan or in the nation is more unemployed and underemployed than Black Americans. Hence, no one has more to gain from a Right to Work Law, than Black Americans, whose poverty rate (27%) is three times higher than white Americans (9%) and is the highest among all minorities.
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