Union Membership Declined in “Right-to-Work” States and Increased in Collective-Bargaining States Last Year

“Right-to-work” does NOT increase union membership.

Right-to-Work Laws Reduce Union Membership

The movement to implement “right-to-work” (RTW) legislation has accelerated over recent years. Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and West Virginia recently become “right-to-work” states. Missouri and Kentucky followed in 2017. Today, 28 states have “right-to-work” laws.

One of the main policy changes contributing to the decline of unionization across the United States is the ratification of “right-to-work” legislation. From 2015 to 2016, union membership in RTW states declined by over 293,000 members. Union membership declined in 20 of the 26 states (77%) with RTW laws.

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A Responsible Bidder Ordinance is a Protection Plan for Taxpayers

A Responsible Bidder Ordinance (RBO) is a policy that sets minimal requirements for all contractors bidding on publicly-funded projects in a given political jurisdiction. Typically, these requirements include proof of participation in an apprenticeship training program, proof of certificates of insurance, prequalification surveys, and compliance with all local, state, and federal laws. RBOs are a qualifications-based approach to construction contracting for public entities. The policies are a kind of “insurance policy” for taxpayers. The local ordinances establish clear, objective standards that contractors must meet in order to win bids and construct projects funded using taxpayer dollars.

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The H-2B Guest Worker Program Unnecessarily Lowers Construction Worker Wages in Illinois

The H-2B program grants visas to foreign workers to become employed at U.S. employers for temporary periods of time. The H-2B program is intended to address worker shortages in unskilled occupations. Migrant workers issued an H-2B visa can be employed for up to 9 months, but their visa may be extended for up to three years. Approximately 115,000 H-2B workers are currently in the United States.

The H-2B program often lowers wages for both foreign-born workers and U.S. citizens.  Continue reading “The H-2B Guest Worker Program Unnecessarily Lowers Construction Worker Wages in Illinois”

Prevailing Wage Is the Local Market Rate in Illinois

A new report from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) finds no evidence for the assertion that prevailing wage “inflates” construction worker wages in Illinois. In fact, after analyzing counties along Illinois’ border, the report finds that a higher prevailing wage for operating engineers has no statistical impact on employment or turnover for men working in road construction. Instead, local market conditions are by far the primary drivers of public construction outcomes.  Continue reading “Prevailing Wage Is the Local Market Rate in Illinois”

Unionized Construction Workers in Minnesota Get Back $5.59 for Every Dollar Paid in Dues

In Minnesota, construction workers are productive, high-skilled, and well-paid. Over 30 percent of these workers are members of a union. To maintain and increase membership, trade unions in Minnesota must continually demonstrate how workers benefit from contributing dues. An analysis by … Continue reading Unionized Construction Workers in Minnesota Get Back $5.59 for Every Dollar Paid in Dues