News Release
Indiana AFL-CIO

In a must-read report issued by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) Jan. 3, arguments made by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, American Legislative Exchange Council, National Right to Work Committee and other out-of-state and corporate special interest groups pushing for a so-called "right to work" (RTW) law here in Indiana are taken to the woodshed.

These groups have been playing fast and loose with the facts in an attempt to hide the political motivations behind "right to work" and distract our elected officials from working to create good jobs for Hoosier families. According to the EPI's independent review, statements and materials distributed by interest groups to the Indiana General Assembly have supplied lawmakers with blatantly incomplete, outdated and twisted information.

Here are just a few of the tall tales being pushed by the anti-worker crowd that the EPI has dismantled:

  • "The National Right to Work Committee issued a 'factsheet' stating that job growth over the past decade was slower in Indiana than in the "Midwest" RTW states (National Institute for Labor Relations Research 2011). The factsheet does not disclose that the higher "average" for these states is due entirely to North Dakota, whose growth was sped up by the discovery of oil, which has nothing to do with RTW. Without North Dakota, the rest of the states averaged a net job loss
  • "Four of the five fastest-growing states in the country were non-RTW states, and Indiana's growth was 25 percent greater than that of its nearest RTW neighbor, Iowa." - Economic Policy Institute

  • "If the National Right to Work Committee had focused on manufacturing instead of oil, it would have found that in the past two years Indiana added more than twice as many manufacturing jobs as all the Midwest RTW states combined. If businesses and workers are 'voting with their feet,' they are voting for Indiana."
  • "The National Right to Work Committee also produced a Powerpoint presentation, 'Indiana and Right to Work,' that quotes an executive of Fantus, a site-location firm, warning that approximately 50 percent of our clients ... do not want to consider locations unless they are in right-to-work states' (National Right to Work Committee 2011). The committee neglects to mention that the quote is based on a report from 1975, and that by 1986, the firm's executive vice president reported that the figure had fallen to 10 percent (Warren 1986)."
  • "In its 'Rich States, Poor States' report, the American Legislative Exchange Council promotes RTW by noting that RTW Texas has added more jobs in the past decade than any other state and declaring Texas 'the state with the best policy to emulate' (Lafer et al. 2011, 13). What ALEC doesn't tell readers is that for the last four years, the state's job growth has come entirely through government jobs, while the private sector shrank--clearly a trend that cannot be credited to RTW (Fletcher 2011)."
  • "In January, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce published a report claiming that from 1977 to 2008, per capita income grew at a faster rate in RTW states than non-RTW states and concluding that if Indiana adopted an RTW law, Hoosiers would enjoy similar income growth. What the Chamber failed to disclose is that, while the overall average of the 22 RTW states was impressive – led by fast-growing states such as North Dakota and Virginia – the actual state-by state numbers showed no relationship whatsoever between RTW laws and income growth. Four of the five fastest-growing states in the country were non-RTW states, and Indiana's growth was 25 percent greater than that of its nearest RTW neighbor, Iowa (Vedder et al. 2011; Lafer 2011)."
  • It's alarming that groups like this are allowed to knowingly and willfully mislead our elected leaders with false information. In Congress, providing false information would be considered a crime, but Indiana has no such laws – maybe we should.

    The truth is that these forces of greed will lie, cheat and even lock Hoosiers out of their own Statehouse in order to jam this very unpopular law down our throats because even they know it won't do anything but lower workers' wages and increase corporate profits.

    For more information, contact Indiana State AFL-CIO at inaflcio@inaflcio.org.

    It's alarming that groups like this are allowed to knowingly and willfully mislead our elected leaders with false information. In Congress, providing false information would be considered a crime, but Indiana has no such laws – maybe we should.

    The truth is that these forces of greed will lie, cheat and even lock Hoosiers out of their own Statehouse in order to jam this very unpopular law down our throats because even they know it won't do anything but lower workers' wages and increase corporate profits.

    For more information, contact Indiana State AFL-CIO at inaflcio@inaflcio.org.