County Official Makes Case For Right-To-Work Laws: Debate Fires Up Again

By Jeff Neumeyer

October 5, 2011 Updated Oct 5, 2011 at 5:46 PM EDT

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- An Allen County commissioner is shining the spotlight on an issue that got labor unions riled up this past winter -- whether Indiana needs to pass "right-to-work" legislation.

It could touch off another battle at the Statehouse come January.

An editorial Commissioner Nelson Peters wrote in Wednesday’s Journal-Gazette does endorse a controversial concept that he believes could help Indiana's unemployment rate of 8.7% drop even lower.

Union supporters crowded into the Statehouse earlier this year, protesting right-to-work legislation.

It maintains that employees should not be forced to join a union or pay union dues as a condition of keeping a job.

Commissioner Peters said in the editorial, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, eight of the 10 states that showed the greatest percentage of growth in gross domestic product between 2000 and 2010 were right-to-work states.

He also cited a study from "leading business relocation firms" that claims up to 50 percent of businesses seeking to relocate will not consider a state that does not have right-to-work laws in place.

Nelson Peters/(R) Allen County Commissioner: " There's still a lot more to go, but this is one of the key pieces that site selectors are telling us needs to be accomplished."

Tom Lewandowski/Central Labor Council: " General Motors, the Goodrich Tire Plant, they move work from right-to-work states here, so this is completely bogus."

Lewandowski acknowledges that our nation may need to change some approaches in order to be more competitive in the scramble for jobs world-wide, but he says right-to-work proponents have what he called "Communist envy", that they want us to be like China.

He says that's not what most Americans want.

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