Every Southern state has a right-to-work law from Virginia to Texas. Outside of the South, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada and Arizona also have right-to-work laws.
“If Volkswagen decides to open a plant in the United States and it chose Michigan, under this sort of law Volkswagen would not be able to open an engine plant in Georgia, which is a right-to-work state,” Alexander told TheDC, referring to the potential impact of the complaint should it succeed.
Alexander and his supporters say this complaint is the latest example of the Obama administration’s effort to impose compulsory unionism across the country and say it is on par with its early failed effort to eliminate the secret ballot in union elections.
“The single biggest problem facing our country is persisting high unemployment and creating jobs, and this policy is the single biggest step the federal government can make to make it harder to create jobs in Tennessee for example,” Alexander continued. “These policies are completely out of line with the president’s need to create an environment where we can make it easier and cheaper to create good jobs in the United States.”
DeMint’s office prepared a report in response to the NRLB action arguing that right-to-work laws have contributed to greater economic growth for states that have them compared with those that do not.
The report claims close to 59.4 percent of all new private-sector businesses were created in right-to-work states between 1993 and 2009, compared to 40.6 percent in states without right-to-work laws. It also says that right-to-work states created 157,207 more new businesses in the same time period than unionized states.
Alexander told TheDC right-to-work laws in southern states such as his home state of Tennessee, where he served as governor in the 1980s, have allowed auto manufacturing to prosper even as Detroit’s Big Three have languished under pressure from their union contracts.
“The president the other days said the auto bailouts saved the American auto industry,” Alexander said. “Well, what I believed saved the American automobile industry is the right-to-work law because it created a situation where manufacturers could make here what they sell here.”
However, the NRLB spokeswoman told TheDC that the complaint had nothing to do with politics or penalizing Boeing for setting up shop in a right-to-work state.
“The machinists’ union brought these charges to us,” she said. “The regional folks looked into these charges, and they found there was enough evidence to bring these charges to the judge.”
She also denied suggestions from some that NRLB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon’s actions against Boeing were motivated by pro-union biases, saying he has been a career NRLB attorney for the past four decades and that work on the complaint began during the tenure of his predecessor, a Bush appointee.
A hearing on the matter is schedule for Tuesday.