Tuesday, March 04, 2008

should ohio be a "right to work" state?

Much thanks to my old roomie Joe for sending me this article from today's Wall Street Journal, comparing the economies of Ohio to Texas in this time of globalization.

According to the op-ed, over the past ten years Ohio has in aggregate lost 10,400 jobs, while Texas has gained 1.62 million jobs during this same period.

Some lines from the story:
"Texas has been prospering while Ohio lags, and the reasons are instructive about what works and what doesn't in economic policy."

"Texas has gained 36,000 manufacturing jobs since 2004 [Ohio lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000] and has ranked as the nation's top exporting state for six years in a row."

"Ohio, Indiana and Michigan are losing auto jobs, but many of these "runaway plants" are not fleeing to China, Mexico or India. They've moved to more business-friendly U.S. states, including Texas."

"Ohio is a "closed shop" state, which means workers can be forced to join a union whether they wish to or not. Many companies -- especially foreign-owned -- say they will not even consider such locations for new sites. "

"Texas is a right to work state and has been adding jobs by the tens of thousands. Nearly 1,000 new plants have been built in Texas since 2005, from the likes of Microsoft, Samsung and Fujitsu. Foreign-owned companies supplied the state with 345,000 jobs."
read the whole piece here.

Simply put, what do you think about this article?

Do you believe Ohio should become a "right to work" state, and would that change improve its competitiveness?


Debra Weaver said...

I don't believe that this is the right question. Industry has been moving to "right to work" states since the 70's. To pursue laws prohibiting "right to work" statutes would be like closing the barn door after the horses have already escaped. Further more, not only has industry already left the area, but the NLRB has been favoring business for so long that unions have effectively been busted and do not appear to have much bite. Although I have not looked at statistics to see how many closed shop establishments there are in the region, my guess is that new business and industry coming to the area is not finding "closed shop" issues to be a problem. (It is important to keep in mind the difference between a union shop and a closed shop.) In order for an establishment to be declared a closed shop the workers must win the right to do so by a majority (silent) vote. I think we would do better to expend our finite energy exploring new types of jobs in areas such as alternative energy and other green collar business. It is my belief that the way to get new types of business to locate here begins with redirecting our energy toward the development of new ways to engage in collaboration and regionalization. Regionalization is going to require one heck of a fight in terms of politics, laws and more importantly changing the mindset of people in our region.

kgmoome said...

Ha! This is a funny topic, because I grew up in Cleveland and did a lot of work in Youngstown before moving to Dallas Texas.

I can tell you from a first hand experience that there are far more opportunities in Texas than Ohio. I think Cleveland/Youngstown still think the automotive industry will make a magically reappear somehow and reopen the steel mills.

I think the state of Ohio should consider easing up on tax laws to allow for new business to move in, people aren't going to be moving to Ohio for the weather.

I think Ohio can be a good place for high tech businesses. Ohioans are smart people, and know how to utilize technology.

Don't forget that Texas has a lot of illegal immigrants working for cheap wages. It isn't like the average joe is going to work at the manufacturing plant for minimum wage, so don't get too upset about it.

Anonymous said...

I will do my best here since at this point in the game, this is a Very Involved Subject.I have worked on both side's Union & non-Union for the Private Sector Not the Public Sector--City, County, Ect.... I live & work in Ohio. I am 40 yrs. old. To attempt to answer the question: "should Ohio be a "right to work" state? I saw the positive & negative of both side's. I have to say no. Here's why: When it comes to the Contract Signing time between the Company & the Union, BOTH PARTIES have the Right to Refuse to Sign the Contract if they feel they want to, therefore giving the Company just as much oppertunity to Prevent Too High of Wages/Ins/Ect...by not signing as the Union has the Same Oppertunity to Prevent Too Low of Wages/Ins/Ect...by Not signing. The Company (Should) know it's financial Records BETTER than ANYBODY in the Union therefore if the company Knows it Cannot (Financially Afford) to Sign the contract then WHY would they?? It has been said to me that "the Company Wants to Stay in Business" so it keeps trying to bend at Contract time to hopefully stay afloat...well, unfortunatly, sometimes thing's just don't work out, but I Rarely, if Ever, hear about the "Company" Sharing the Blame as to why they are in such bad shape? Also, where is the Outcry from the Media about the Countless "Small" Businesses that go Under & Fail Constantly All Across the U.S.A.? Hmmm, don't recall Any News Media from Anywhere U.S.A. Pouring it on for them like they have done for the Big Companies...what's the difference between the two? They're Both American Companies, Period. I hope I brought a Sensible View to this, & it IS a Touchy Subject "in my opinion". I decided to Not get into the Public Sector (Tax Paid Positions)side of the subject, not that I wouldn't it would just take too long for 1 post. Maby i'll come back & touch on that, & maby a few other things. (Sorry about some of my spelling). I myself have 2 buisness ideas that I would Really Like to see get off the ground, but, that also bleeds over into another subjuct: the Raising Cost of living...& I think a Bunch of people are feeling it right Now & more are going to be feeling it in the Near Future Unfortunatly. Thank's alot & I hope everybody has a Good Day.