Rupert Boneham: Indiana’s second Right To Work law

From a media release sent to IPR by the Rupert Boneham campaign, on Feb. 7th, 2012:

For Immediate Release

Even as an active and proud union member, I believe no one should be forced to join or pay fees to another group as a condition of employment, but the State has NO authority or right to legislate the contracts between a private company and its work force.

Private businesses and their workforce could have used “closed shop” as a positive trade during the formation of the union shop or during contract negotiations. They could have traded compulsory union membership for things like merit over seniority, lower healthcare cost matching or better benefits packages.

I feel Right To Work efforts and legislation should have focused on public contracts for outside goods and services. The State should have revised its current standards of preference for ALL bids on state contracts for goods and services. Publicly funded contracts should be awarded based on bids from companies and vendors using the following priorities:

1. Costs of contract
2. Favorable terms/length
3. Labor location
4. Company location
5. “Open Shop” if Union
6. Public comment

This process should be 100% transparent, online and open for public comment. There should be NO private bids or contracts awarded behind closed doors. Every bid should be open for public review, with ample time for public examination and comment. When a contract is awarded there should be a public review listing the “rank” of each bid and a summary explaining why a bid was chosen or rejected.

The administration was so dogged in their pursuit of “union busting” they actually dusted off the history books and used the same methods and tactics used to pass Right To Work in 1958. With a lightning fast bang of the gavel and the swift flick of a pen, the current administration has taken away a major bargaining position from both private businesses and their workforce.

Some in this race to be Indiana’s next Governor are shying away from the RTW discussion. While they’re saying things like “It’s time to move beyond this…”, I am proudly and loudly saying that, as Governor, I will fight to repeal this intrusion into private businesses. I will work to restore the legally contracted rights of private workers and unions. Together, we will repeal this, like we did in 1965.

In Liberty,

Rupert Boneham
Libertarian candidate for Governor of Indiana

Contact Info:
Evan McMahon, Campaign Manager
Rupert For Governor

317-643-4090 ext 1 (office)
317-500-6333 (cell)
129 E. Market St. Ste 100
Indianapolis, IN 46204
emcmahon@rupertforgovernor.com

“It’s Our Time!” – www.RupertForGovernor.com

 

See the article on the campaign website.

 

29 thoughts on “Rupert Boneham: Indiana’s second Right To Work law

  1. Marc Montoni

    Gotta take issue with Rupert’s #5. There should be no consideration of union status. The main consideration should be price, the second should be the reputation for expertise, and then the others on his list — without #5.

    Personally, I have come to regard the extent of union violence, corruption, and distortion of markets to be so egregious that Right To Work laws are necessary to rein them in, at least for the short term.

    No one owns their job. You walk off your job to “strike”, and your employer should have every right to hire someone else — and when you try to intimidate the “scabs” and the company, you should be allowed to get to know the inner confines of a prison cell for several years.

    There are precious few private companies that would enter into a closed shop agreement with a union, were it not for the always-present hint of either union violence or government thuggery to “make it so”.

  2. Brian Holtz

    I’m sympathetic to any anti-extortion sentiment behind right-to-work laws, but libertarians shouldn’t say that because extortion is a difficult crime to prosecute, we should instead outlaw certain kinds of contracts among consenting adults. Just think of all the crimes other than extortion to which nanny-staters would (and do) apply such logic.

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    @1,

    “There are precious few private companies that would enter into a closed shop agreement with a union, were it not for the always-present hint of either union violence or government thuggery to ‘make it so’.”

    Interesting claim.

    Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, trade and labor unionism grew like Topsy despite the fact that both the law and the guns were on the anti-union side.

    Unionism began to decline only after that “government thuggery” in its alleged favor (emphasis on “alleged”) was instituted with the NLRA.

    Or, to put it a different way, employers were seeing contracts as more and more a good thing until the government decided to impose uniformity on both the contractual process and many of the specific contractual details.

    Take away the NLRA (both Wagner and Taft-Hartley), and it really comes down to this: If you’re anti-union, you’re anti-market and anti-freedom.

  4. Marc Montoni

    Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, trade and labor unionism grew like Topsy

    According to?

    From what I’ve read, the labor union movement found it difficult to “organize America” up until the arrival of the proto-communist “Progressive Era”, beginning about 1850, but getting real legs by the 1870’s. I don’t think unionism is compatible with the free market; I regard it as many jurists once did: as a (violent) conspiracy to interfere with lawful trade.

    … despite the fact that both the law and the guns were on the anti-union side.

    According to?

    Google is your friend. Even in the early days during the colonial period — and even after Independence — labor violence was often “overlooked” by the authorities, and arrests (much less convictions) for violence were made in only a tiny fraction of incidents. As in most things, the state *FAILED* to protect property owners — which predictably led to demand for the services of private cops such as the Pinkertons.

    Let’s put it this way: If there was no demand for the services of armed guards, there would be no businesses that supplied armed guards.

    This article is a pretty good summary of unionism in America.

    Unionism began to decline only after that “government thuggery” in its alleged favor (emphasis on “alleged”) was instituted with the NLRA.

    This is an outright bogus statement, at least if you’re referring to levels of union membership. After the communist labor laws instituted during WWI expired, union membership fell steadily from 5 million in 1920 to 3 million by 1933. Read the mises article — when NLRA became law, the unionized fraction of the civilian labor force rose fourfold from 5.7% to 22.4%.

    How in the holy hell do you define that as a “decline”?

    Are you saying that communist-inspired law [NLRA, and others] *doesn’t* favor unions?

    Unions benefit from NLRA and may other laws, court decisions, etc. “It’s a huge caveat worth noting anytime union members spiral down toward lethal behavior: The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that certain labor union violence­even when involving homicide­cannot be prosecuted under federal law. The controversial U.S. v. Enmons verdict deemed in 1973 that labor violence against employers­including property damage, assault, and homicide­isn’t federally punishable when it’s carried out for legitimate union pursuits, such as wage or benefit increases.” From http://www.theblaze.com/stories/labor-union-violence-in-america-a-brief-history/

    And are you suggesting that unions didn’t get away with billions of [2012] dollars in destruction, violence, and general mayhem in the 1800’s — that period when you claim that “the law and the guns were on the anti-union side”?

    Posh.

    I frankly am glad to see unionism on a steady decline since its heyday in the 40’s, and I won’t cry to see the movement disappear altogether. For one thing because that would mean more people understood there is such a thing as private property rights.

    Or, to put it a different way, employers were seeing contracts as more and more a good thing until the government decided to impose uniformity on both the contractual process and many of the specific contractual details.

    Is this conjecture, or was there some survey of company managers of the early 1900’s from which you take this “factoid”?

    Unions owe their very existence to thuggery and intimidation. They are merely a continuation of the old tradesmens guilds of Europe; which were essentially groups of workers who attempted to monopolize their market. They kept out competition by either direct action — beating or killing business owners and children entering their particular field — or by state action: by paying the local satrap to establish the guild’s “license” to monopolize their craft within the lord’s territory. Little difference to a victim if the beating comes from a private crook acting on his own, or by the local armed bureaucrat wearing a badge and uniform.

    The guilds, same as unions of today, were simply state appendages designed to enrich their members and forcibly transfer wealth from others.

    Take away the NLRA (both Wagner and Taft-Hartley), and it really comes down to this: If you’re anti-union, you’re anti-market and anti-freedom.

    Really?

    I don’t think so. I regard unions as just another well-organized rent-seeking operation. Without the subsidy of government-granted privileges, there would be exceedingly few unions; and if the switch was flipped tomorrow establishing a free market in labor, and the first union thug who tried to intimidate a “scab” found himself shot to death just as he was raising his baseball bat against his intended victim, well, I think that would put the headstone on the movement.

  5. Deran

    I find myself agreeing with Mr. Knapp, mostly.

    Mr. Montoni, I think this Wikipedia article

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_unions_in_the_United_States#History

    …is an okay place for you to start to learn about the history of worker organizing in the United States. I would suggest Howard Zinn’s A Peoples History of the United States as a good further reading source.

    Any actual study of labor history in the United States will show that the federal, state and local governments never called out the army, national guard, posse, mob or Pinkerton mercenaries to defend the roght to organize. But these forces have been excerted many many times against strikes and even rudimentary attempts by employees to air grievances.

  6. ATBAFT

    #6, I think the coercion was more subtle. Teddy Roosevelt leaned on railway and mining officials in early 1900s to settle with unions (demanding 20% wage increases)or face trust busting, ICC turndowns of rate increases and etc. The railway and mine officials caved and TR and his minions brought on the trust busters anyway.

  7. Marc Montoni

    @ Deran, I have no problem whatsoever with “organizing”. What I object to is organizing with the intent of planning crimes against property and people.

    Any actual study of labor history in the United States will show that the federal, state and local governments never called out the army, national guard, posse, mob or Pinkerton mercenaries to defend the roght to organize.

    And any actual study of labor history will show that troops, posses, mobs, or Pinkertons were never called out at all unless there was a clear and open threat of violence by the unionists.

    It’s funny you should include “posses” and mobs. I wonder what you call it when:

    1) plant management invites a security team of ~300 men to its premises, to prevent destruction and violence at the plant (wouldn’t anyone who believes in property rights agree they had a clear right to do so?);

    2) the security team is met by a mob of ~3000; whereupon

    3) individuals on the security team begin to exit their conveyance in order to walk to the plant (wouldn’t anyone who believes in the individual right to travel freely agree they had a clear right to do so?);

    4) The mob opens fire on them (wouldn’t anyone who believes in individual rights believe that would be a violation of rights?);

    5) The security team fires back (wouldn’t anyone who believes in individual rights agree they had a clear right to do so?), outnumbered ten to one…

    6) The security team is mauled and is forced to surrender;

    7) The mob wants to lynch all 300 members of the security team, however, leaders are afraid of the political consequences, so instead the security team is allowed to “walk the gauntlet”, where every last man is serially beaten by members of the mob.

    In case you don’t know, this is the story of the Homestead Strike.

    The Homestead case was an extreme example of labor violence, but only in terms of scale (thousands of union members instigating tens of thousands of “counts” of violence), it by no means was unusual in terms of tactics.

    I have no problem with people walking off their jobs — and getting better jobs else where. That is everyone’s right. I’ve done it, myself.

    But these forces have been excerted many many times against strikes and even rudimentary attempts by employees to air grievances.

    Trouble with history is that reading only one side’s whitewashed point of view doesn’t really tell the whole story.

    I’ve aired grievances with employers before, and found their response disagreeable. If it was annoying enough, I quit — I did not punch the respondents. However, many others in labor history have choosen the latter response — I’ve been witness to it twice in my working life, one of those times I personally physically restrained and dragged the assailant outside and away from the victim.

    It is in that light that I view unions.

  8. JT

    Marc, you’re right. Knapp didn’t address any of the facts that you mentioned, just as he evidently didn’t to me in the thread you linked to. Oh well…I guess being sarcastic is easier than facing facts you don’t want to face.

  9. Robert Capozzi

    Unions, like marriage, is one of these “what to do in the meantime” issues. Most Ls’d say that ultimately “marriage” isn’t the gov’t’s business. Labor issues are also best handled civilly and privately.

    Until the day comes when strategic air command is handled by competing insurance companies in a reasonable tranquility-maintaining manner, I suspect even absolutist NAP adherents will disagree on how the formula is properly solved.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    Marc,

    I don’t know what’s more delicious: Neither you nor JT being able to tell when I’m yanking your chains, or you being so unable to recognize it in either case that you reference me doing it to him by way of not recognizing that I’m doing it to you.

  11. MarcMontoni Post author

    Yes, labor issues are best settled civilly and privately; with that I certainly agree. Violence, on the other hand, is a criminal matter.

    I have a right to enter the premises of a company that wishes to hire me. If a striker attempts to prevent me from entering, he is interfering with lawful trade and probably committing assault as well.

    That person should be in jail, period.

  12. Robert Capozzi

    13 mm, were it only that simple. When the levers of the State are controlled by the capital, or labor, for that matter, are we surprised that civil solutions are prohibitively priced? When the rules of discovery remain very rough approximations, justice remains elusive….

  13. Robert Capozzi

    13 mm, not necessarily. Say Sam Konkin wants to work at Rothbard Enterprises. However, Rothbard Enterprises is on Hoppe Avenue.

    Konkin has paid Hoppe the toll, so he can use Hoppe Avenue. However, Rothbard Enterprises has not paid its monthly access fee to Hoppe, so Hoppe blocks the entrance to Rothbard Enterprises.

    Konkin, not being party to the Hoppe/Rothbard dispute, simply wants to get a job with Rothbard. He’s paid Hoppe his toll. He attempts to enter Rothbard’s, but Hoppe’s security forces stop him, forcibly if necessary.

    Even if they all decide to settle this all civilly, there are no witnesses other than the principals or agents of the principals.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    MM@13,

    “I have a right to enter the premises of a company that wishes to hire me. If a striker attempts to prevent me from entering, he is interfering with lawful trade and probably committing assault as well.”

    Agreed, 100%.

    Now replace “striker” with “person” and add “whether he’s a union member or not.”

  15. JT

    Knapp: “I don’t know what’s more delicious: Neither you nor JT being able to tell when I’m yanking your chains…”

    I recognize sarcasm well; I know it’s not a serious comment. Also when someone is using it in lieu of responding to any facts that have been pointed out. That’s pretty easy to do.

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT,

    What “facts” do you want me to “respond to.”

    Marc starts from the premise that unionism as such is “a (violent) conspiracy to interfere with lawful trade” and then ignores 90% of history and extensively revises the other 10% to confirm that premise.

    In order to untangle that kind of mess, I’d have to write a book. I’m sure as hell not going to try to do it in offhand comments on a blog about third party politics. And if I do write a book, it probably won’t be about unionism, and it certainly won’t be devoted to debunking Marc.

  17. Robert Capozzi

    btw, Rothbard Enterprises broke its usu. negotiating approach of offering $0 as its opening salvo. It suggested that Hoppe Avenue Corp. pay Rothbard $1MM per year for the privilege of having RE on its fair boulevard.

  18. Be Rational

    RC @ 16 & 21

    Your example fails because in a free market “cities” and “communities” would develop in entirely different ways that you have not anticipated and there wouldn’t be “streets” like we see today so that there would be few if any locations with limited access as you have envisioned in your strawcity argument.

  19. Robert Capozzi

    22 br, OK, thanks for your feedback.

    That’s quite a statement.

    AnarchoParadise wouldn’t even have streets? What are you suggesting: Teleportation?

  20. JT

    Knapp: “In order to untangle that kind of mess, I’d have to write a book. I’m sure as hell not going to try to do it in offhand comments on a blog about third party politics. And if I do write a book, it probably won’t be about unionism, and it certainly won’t be devoted to debunking Marc.”

    Tom, you don’t have to write a book on the history of unionism to respond to Marc’s factual claims in post 4. They’re a response to the few specific claims you made in post 3. All you’d have to do is cite any credible evidence that contradicts those few historical points in post 4 and supporting what you said in post 3. If you’re not willing to do that, then that’s your right (although not a good approach, IMO). But simply saying that he hates “freedom, markets, and America” without addressing anything substantive in what he said seems more like modern day liberals or conservatives who dismiss libertarians simply by saying we hate children, or old people, or religious people, or soldiers, etc.

  21. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT@24,

    “But simply saying that he hates ‘freedom, markets, and America'”

    Which part of “that’s just me joking around did you not get the first time?

  22. JT

    Knapp: “Which part of “that’s just me joking around did you not get the first time?””

    You in post 3: “Take away the NLRA (both Wagner and Taft-Hartley), and it really comes down to this: If you’re anti-union, you’re anti-market and anti-freedom.”

    Was that a joke? I really doubt it.

    Regardless, that still doesn’t address anything else I said in post 24.

  23. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT @26,

    —–
    You in post 3: “Take away the NLRA (both Wagner and Taft-Hartley), and it really comes down to this: If you’re anti-union, you’re anti-market and anti-freedom.”

    Was that a joke? I really doubt it.
    —–

    No, it wasn’t a joke.

    “Regardless, that still doesn’t address anything else I said in post 24.”

    Nor was it intended to address anything else you said in post 24.

  24. JT

    Knapp: “Nor was it intended to address anything else you said in post 24.”

    Okay. Just pointing that out in case you glossed over the rest of it, which was really the main point.

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