Today’s decision by a judge in the Dane County Circuit rejecting union officials’ request for an injunction to stop Wisconsin’s new Right to Work law from taking effect underscores the uphill battle Big Labor faces in trying to get this statute overturned in court. Nevertheless, union lawyers are sure to keep trying. National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys representing independent-minded Badger State employees who wish to exercise their newly established freedom not to bankroll an unwanted union will seek to intervene in the case to defend the 25th state Right to Work law.
Meanwhile, the campaign by Big Labor and its allies to deter other states from following in the footsteps of Wisconsin goes on. On March 12, the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail published an op-ed by Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of the forced union dues-funded Economic Policy Institute, berating Right to Work laws and holding up monopolistic unionism as the American employee’s friend. (See the first link below.)
Eisenbrey tried to use Oklahoma, which prohibited compulsory union dues a fees in 2001, as an example of why states shouldn’t adopt Right to Work laws. But as I noted in an op-ed distributed this week by CNS News (see the second link below), the Sooner State has actually “flourished economically” since its Right to Work amendment took effect nearly 14 years ago:
Since Oklahoma became Right to Work, private-sector employee compensation (including wages, salaries, bonuses, and the cash value of benefits) in the state has increased far more rapidly than in the nation as a whole.
From 2001 to 2013, inflation-adjusted U.S. Commerce Department data show private nonfarm compensation in Oklahoma grew by 24.5 percent or more than two-and-a-half times as much as the national average. And Oklahoma’s real private-sector compensation gain was more than triple the aggregate percentage increase for the Sooner State’s three non-Right to Work neighbors (New Mexico, Colorado and Missouri).
This marks a sharp contrast from Oklahoma’s economic record in the dozen years before its Right to Work law took effect. From 1989 to 2001, real private-sector compensation in Oklahoma grew 12 percent more slowly than the national average and 21 percent more slowly than the average for its forced-unionism neighbor states.