New Poll Shows Ohioans Recognize Need for Labor Flexibility

The same day that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi again touted the Employee Free Choice Act, a new poll showed Ohioans to be overwhelmingly opposed to the kind of labor policies EFCA represents. The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions released rules of a statewide poll of 1,800 Ohioans, and the respondents’ views on labor were surprisingly strong.

National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez interviewed the Institute’s Matt Mayer on the poll in NRO’s The Corner blog. From “Ohio Wants Something Different“:

Q: What surprised you most about the poll findings?

A: The biggest surprise to us was the high level of support among all demographic groups for workers to have the freedom to choose whether or not to join a labor union to get a job. Given Ohio’s long history of being labor-union-friendly, we thought the numbers would be lower. Our read on this result is that Ohioans know that we won’t be able to grow our manufacturing or overall job market if we remain a state with higher labor costs and greater workplace rigidity. With the current pro-union policies, we just don’t stand much of a chance to attract the big opportunities like South Carolina just got with Boeing’s move to build the new 787 Dreamliner in that state. We’ll get a bone or two every now and again by using big incentive packages, but not in the numbers to get our job market to where it needs to be for the 11.4 million Ohioans to experience real prosperity.

See, competitiveness is structural. You can affect growth and employment on the margins with incentives, grants, stimulus dollars, earmarks, etc., but if the underlying business environment is anti-competitive the winners tend to be the few whom government has picked to be the winners.

More from the poll:

  • Magellan Strategies Ohio Statewide Budget Survey Topline Results
  • Magellan Strategies Ohio Statewide Budget Survey Cross-tabs
    And here’s what the NAM’s “Manufacturing Strategy for Jobs and a Competitive America” recommended in the way of labor policy:

    Encourage the dynamic labor market that is one of America’s great competitive advantages. Companies must move quickly to meet the demands of a rapidly changing marketplace, and the continuing expansion of federal mandates and labor regulations undermines employer flexibility. In addition, increasing costs discourage the hiring of new employees. To encourage competitiveness, the United States should:

    • Reject new federal regulations that dictate rigid work rules, wages and benefits and that introduce conflict into employer-employee relations.
    – Oppose the Employee Free Choice Act in any form, including individual provisions such as forced arbitration and snap elections.
    – Resist National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rulemaking that overturns the long-established balance in management-labor relations.
    – Support initiatives at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other oversight agencies that encourage employers and employees to join in cooperative efforts for safer working environments.
    – Recognize and promote the voluntary efforts of employers to meet the needs of individual employees through flexible work schedules and benefit arrangements.

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