Indiana proposal to have state government interfere in private sector collective bargaining agreements would mean lower wages for workers, food officials say

INDIANAPOLIS , November 18, 2011 (press release) – Indiana food workers met with Governor Mitch Daniels’ senior staff today to deliver their message on the controversial proposal to have state government interfere in private sector collective bargaining contracts--so-called right-to-work (r-t-w). The workers group explained that their contracts with employers are freely negotiated, and are ratified by majority vote of workers. According to Jason Morey, a local grocery worker, “government inference in collective bargaining agreements means one thing for workers: lower wages!”

The food workers outlined the devastating impact of r-t-w:

* Lower wages and family income

* Increased poverty

* Fewer public services

* No net increase in jobs

According to a Notre Dame study that was presented to the Governor’s staff, it is indisputable that r-t-w results in reduced wages. The economic ripple effect of less income for workers and families means fewer jobs, higher poverty rates, and reduces public services.

“R-t-w is a job killer. Lower wages means less money in the economy and that means fewer jobs. That’s why r-t-w states lead the nation in poverty,” said Joe Chorpenning, President, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 700.

Chorpenning went on to explain, “Lower wages also shrinks the tax base leading to higher taxes or reduced public services. R-t-w states on average spend less on critical services such as public education.”

Dan Nicholson, a retail meat cutter, explained his experience in a r-t-w work state, “I visited Texas meat cutters. They work for the same company as I. And do the same job. They make a $1.50 an hour less. Why? Texas is a r-t-w state!”

The workers also presented information demonstrating that Indiana outperforms r-t-w states in key measures for business site selection and in unemployment rates.

(UFCW Local 700 represents 13,000 members working at neighborhood grocery and food processing plants. The UFCW is leading the “Right-To-Work is Lie!” effort to debunk the false job growth claims of r-t-w proponents.)

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