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Maine House Republicans
Room 332, State House
2 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0002


Phone: (207) 287-1440

For Immediate Release

Date: 04/01/13

GOP Jobs, Economic Freedom Bills Receive Strong Support from Workers, Business Leaders, Activists

Numbers don't lie: Right-to-Work brings more jobs, higher wages, economic freedom

AUGUSTA - Two bills that would allow workers to choose whether to belong to a labor union received their public hearings today before the Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development Committee. Rep. Lawrence Lockman (R-Amherst) sponsored LD 786 and LD 831 to bring choice to public and private sector workers, respectively, preventing compulsory payment of union dues and forcing unions to recruit members with value instead of legislative mandate.

Public workers Barry Lucier, Gerald Cormier, and Linda Anthony testified in favor of LD 786.

From the business community, the panel heard testimony from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), and Chesterfield Associates, a marine contracting and engineering firm that employs 60 people.

Also testifying in favor of the bills were concerned citizen activists such as Carol Weston of Americans for Prosperity, Eric Brakey of the Defense of Liberty PAC, and Gregory Mourad of the National Right to Work Committee.

Additionally, former House Democratic Whip Rep. Terry Hayes (D-Bucksport) testified neither in support nor in opposition to LD 786, which she co-sponsored. House Republican Leadership gives both bills their full support.

"The numbers don't lie: Right-to-work states have more job growth, more wage growth, and more young people coming to them," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette. "This is not anti-union legislation, it simply means that unions must prove their value to their prospective members. Under right-to-work laws, there's nothing stopping workers from joining a union."

"There is an economic renaissance sweeping the nation and if we want more jobs with better wages, we would be wise to enact right-to-work," said Assistant House Republican Leader Alexander Willette (R-Mapleton). "This is a jobs bill that means more work and better wages for Maine workers and their families."

John Butera, senior economic advisor to Governor Paul LePage testified, recounting his nine years' experience with the nation's leading site location firm and his work in the Governor's Office and paraphrasing Fortune 500 companies who said they would not consider expanding into a state that has not enacted a right-to-work law.

Liberal unenrolled Rep. Jim Campbell's response was, "If right-to-work states are so great, why don't you go back to them?" Incidentally, as the accompanying graph illustrates, many (especially young) people are heeding Campbell's advice.

Opponents of RTW say that RTW does not create jobs in states that adopt it, but

According to the US Labor Dept., from 1990 to 2010, private sector payrolls increased 32% in RTW states, three times faster than non-RTW states.

According to The Mackinac Institute, job growth increased 71% in RTW states since 1980 and only 32% in non-RTW states.

Within a year of Indiana enacting RTW, 65 companies have communicated to that state's economic development corporation that the recent law will factor into their site location decision-making.

Opponents refer to "right-to-work-for-less" and say wages are lower in right-to-work states, but

While it may be true that according to the raw data, wages are lower, when you account for cost of living differences, wages are actually 4% higher in RTW states, according to the Mackinac Institute.

Wages in RTW states have grown four times faster than wages in forced-unionism states.

According to research by economist Dr. Richard Vedder, RTW states experienced a 23% faster increase in per capita income between 1977 and 2007.

Democrats have questioned why Republicans didn't simply pass right-to-work legislation when they had the majority in the last term. Rep. Lockman has asked why Democrats don't simply support right-to-work today. In any event, House Republican leadership today supports Rep. Lockman's legislation.

"I think many were concerned that Republicans shouldn't over-reach and try to effect so much change in such a short amount of time," said Fredette. "We had already passed tax cuts and reforms to education, welfare, the state pension, economic regulations, and the health insurance market. But I can say that if I were the speaker today, I would support Rep. Lockman's legislation and vote to bring jobs to Maine."

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Contact:
David Sorensen, Communications Director
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793