Watchwoman: Oh, yikes! This could really turn out to be the super bowl of donneybrooks. Imagine crazed superbowl fans, filled with alcohol-added courage and beer bravery, squaring off with the mafioso muscle of labor unions, armed with bats and other weapons! Stay tuned. This could get real interesting! ▬ Donna Calvin
Will Unions Occupy Super Bowl Over Right To Work?
Big Labor: Indiana unions, opposed to becoming the first right-to-work state in the Rust Belt, may disrupt Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. Their unnecessary roughness will cost the Hoosiers needed jobs.
On Friday, as the Indiana Senate was scheduled to take up legislation supported by Gov. Mitch Daniels to make Indiana the 23rd right-to-work state, Indiana unions considered copying the disruptive and coercive tactics of Occupy Wall Street to disrupt arguably America’s premier sporting event, the Super Bowl, to be held in Indianapolis on Feb. 5.
As in Wisconsin, where embattled GOP Gov. Scott Walker faces a recall election over his effort to fight excessive union feeding at the public trough, and in South Carolina, a right-to-work state that fought the National Labor Relation Board’s efforts to stop Boeing from expanding there, unions in Indiana are fighting to stop what they see as an encroachment on their power.
The Indiana Senate was waiting for the House to complete its work on the legislation but, in a tactic employed by Democratic state senators in Wisconsin, Democratic representatives in the Indiana House delayed action by simply not showing up.
In a further move to block enactment, Indiana Democrats sought to add an amendment that said the law would not take effect until approved by the voters in a state referendum.
If the bill passes before Feb. 5, some Indiana labor activists are considering protests before a nationwide audience. These protests would include Teamsters clogging city streets with trucks, and electricians staging a slowdown at the convention center site of the NFL village.
The Indianapolis Capital Improvements Board, which runs Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indianapolis Convention Center, has no-strike agreements with unions representing stagehands, carpenters, electricians and painters. But other unions, including hotel workers, aren’t covered, and the building trades workers could choose not to cross any picket lines.
Brad Holloway, a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 481, said electricians could also engage in work slowdowns.
“You can tell them we’ll take the Super Bowl and shove it,” said Jeff Combs, organizing director for Teamsters Local 135 in Indianapolis. Teamsters gathered at the statehouse Wednesday wearing T-shirts with 46 — signifying the 46th Super Bowl since the 1966 season — crossed out on the back.
Indiana, like the rest of the states, needs jobs. The empirical evidence is that job and economic growth are higher in states that allow work without unions and that industries and businesses flock to and prosper in states like Texas and South Carolina.
“Local economic development officers testified that 25% to 50% of companies looking to create employment, whether through expansion or locating a new facility, just took Indiana and other non-right-to-work states off the table,” Brian Bosma, Republican speaker of the Indiana House, said in an interview. “This is stopping employers from coming to Indiana. We need to deal with that.”
According to government statistics compiled by the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, from 1999 to 2009 RTW states had a 28.3% growth in real personal income vs. 14.7% growth in forced unionism states — almost double.
The cost-of-living per capita adjusted income in RTW states in 2009 was $35,543 vs. $33,389. RTW states experienced a 20.9% growth in real manufacturing GDP vs. 6.5% in forced unionism states from 2000 to 2008.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, right-to-work states added 1.5 million private-sector jobs from 1999 to 2009 for a 3.7% increase. States that are not right to work lost 1.8 million jobs over the same decade, for a decline of 2.3%.
Americans for Tax Reform compared the states gaining and losing population and therefore congressional seats in the 2010 Census and found that “states gaining seats had significantly lower taxes, less government spending and were more likely to have right-to-work laws in place.”
Clearly workers and taxpayers are voting with their feet against forced unionism. Will Indiana punt on right to work or go deep for jobs and economic growth?