Mark Mix: New Mexico could add 42,000 jobs under right-to-work

By | September 17th, 2012

Should New Mexico become a “right-to-work” state?

Yes, says Mark Mix of the National Right to Work Committee, who spoke to about 75 people at a luncheon in Albuquerque hosted by the Rio Grande Foundation on Sept. 12, saying that his group estimates New Mexico’s economy could add about 42,000 jobs if it passed legislation prohibiting closed union shops – that is, requiring owners to hire only union members should employees decide to establish a union in that workplace.

But about a dozen union protesters outside the luncheon gathered in opposition to any such legislation, saying it will hurt work workers across the state.

We grabbed the trusty Flip Cam and talked to both sides of the argument.

MARK MIX: “Workers ought to be able to choose whether to financially support a private organization. So, the individual freedom component is reason number one. And that should be enough. But there’s more. Passing right-to-work, we believe, would be a tremendous boon to the New Mexico economy. Right-to-work states are performing better economically than states that have forced unionism. I mean the data is getting overwhelming, to the point that union officials now must admit that right-to-work states are doing better. The fiscal condition of the states is better. The unemployment situation is better. The job creation situation is better. Right to work is freedom and jobs.”

JOEL VILLAREAL, President, Central New Mexico Labor Council: “We take issue because we see this as an assault on our workers’ rights. And it’s proven time and time again these laws, they destroy the base of the working class and they undermine labor power in every state that they’ve been implemented in, so we’re just letting them know that if they’re discussing that kind of agenda here in New Mexico, we want them to know we’re not all O.K. with that and [that] New Mexico is a pro-union state and we want to keep it that way.”

MARK MIX: “The American Federation of Teachers, which is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, put out a study back in 2002. They don’t do it anymore because what they proved was what we’ve been saying all along - is that when you adjust wages for cost of living, you find that workers in right-to-work states are much better off than men and women who labor under forced unionism in those states.”

Read the full story at Capitol Report New Mexico.