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Right-to-Work Means New Jobs for New Mexico

Every person deserves to work without fear of being fired for not paying a union. Yet in New Mexico, too many workers are forced to pay union dues to keep their jobs. They should be free to choose whether union representation is worth part of their paycheck.

Economic outlook and employment are higher in states where workers are free to work without mandatory union membership. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that right-to-work states enjoyed twice the job growth rate of non-right-to-work states between 1990 and 20141. From 2001 to 2011, right-to-work states added 1.7 million jobs while forced-union states lost 2 million jobs2.

Michigan passed right-to-work legislation in 2013 and benefitted tremendously3. From March of 2013 to August of 2015, Michigan’s payrolls increased by 4.5 percent and, manufacturing jobs increased by 46,900. In Illinois, a forced-union state, payrolls only increased by 2.3 percent, and the state lost 10,900 manufacturing jobs over the same period.

Right-to-work laws force unions to serve their members, too. When unions can’t force workers to stay, the only way to keep their members is by serving them. It’s no wonder that from 2005-2015, overall union membership increased in right-to-work states while falling in non-right-to-work states4.

New Mexico should stand up for its workers and join this positive trend among states. Worker freedom means more money in the pockets of hard-working Americans and more choices and more jobs for New Mexicans.

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