Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wall Street Journal: Will Republicans Flinch?

In November, voters rejected Big Labor-backed incumbent legislators at both the federal and state levels. But will Republicans follow through on their promises to stand up to the union bosses?

That's the question posed by the Wall Street Journal in an editorial this week, criticizing Indiana Governor -- and possible Presidential candidate -- Mitch Daniels for stonewalling on the Right to Work issue:
Mr. Daniels adds that the lack of a right-to-work law "does hold us back economically. There is no doubt about it." He estimates that when competing with Southern states for businesses, "a very large number—perhaps as many as a quarter—of the deals we don't get a shot at are for just this reason."

This damage has motivated Indiana Republicans, who now control both legislature chambers, to announce that they want to pass a right-to-work law. Unions immediately went to Defcon 1, Democrats are up in arms, and Republicans could yet buckle under this union pressure. Even Mr. Daniels, who has stood up to union opposition in the past, seems hesitant. He told the Indianapolis Star that right to work "may be worth a look," but he added it "is not on my agenda." He's worried that the issue so antagonizes unions that it could derail the rest of his legislative agenda.

We hope Republicans don't flinch. Right-to-work laws make states more economically competitive, but the bigger issue is about individual rights. Workers should have the right to join a union but also the right not to. Indiana and other states with new Republican majorities have a rare opportunity to pass a major reform that will reduce union power, help to attract new jobs, and liberate workers from union coercion.
The full editorial is worth reading, and it's an excellent reminder to all the liberty activists who worked so hard during the election season that the fight is far from over.

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