Northwest NEWS

May 6, 2002

Editorial

Beware of peddlers of snake oil and miracle cures

Ms. Smith and the Right to Work Committee opened their stand selling the citizens of Washington the slickest of snake oils.
   Her letter supporting I-777 is an effort to have us believe that the cure for Washington's employment and business ails is Right to Work law.
   The Department of Labor statistics disprove the wonders of her snake oil. Her claim that salaries flourish is far from the truth. Salaries in right to work states average 25 percent less than in free states for the same job.
   Moreover, in those same states, minorities and women earn $150 to $200 less in weekly wages.
   Right to Work guarantees no such right. In states where unions are restricted, job stability is often 36 percent lower than in states without union restrictions. Unionized workers enjoy better benefits than workers in nonunion jobs. The earnings of minorities and women are greater in free states as opposed to a Right to Work state.
   Finally, Ms. Smith's claim that Washington would enjoy an overwhelming growth as new manufacturing jobs race to our state will never materialize.
   Without a strong infrastructure, the businesses currently residing in our state will be forced to move to states where the infrastructure allows the free movement of commerce.
   The reality of Right to Work laws is to break unions and lower the earnings of the working Americans. They do not, nor will they ever help the working American improve his workplace, wages, or benefits.
   Instead of contributing to the problem in Washington, Ms. Smith and her group should work toward a solution to our transportation and highway woes solutions that will keep the businesses we have and draw in new businesses sparking greater growth.
   Guy Sahlman, Bothell