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The Scoop

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Union bill would be a boost, small-business owners say

Statement issued Friday by the National Federation of Independent Business:

Indianapolis (January 6, 2012) – A group representing roughly 15,000 small business owners in Indiana told lawmakers today that legislation making union membership optional would boost economic growth and make the state one of the top destinations in America for employers and job seekers.

“Most of the economic growth in America over the past 20 years has occurred in right-to-work states. That’s not a coincidence,” said Barbara Quandt, State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

Quandt and several NFIB members testified this morning at a joint hearing of the House and Senate labor committees in favor of a measure to make Indiana a right to work state.

Under the bill, private unions would be barred from forcing workers to join and dues would be paid voluntarily, not automatically deducted from employee paychecks as they are now.

Quandt noted that in the most recent NFIB statewide member ballot, nine out of 10 small business owners strongly favored a right-to-work law. The organization expects to receive the results of this year’s ballot soon, and Quandt urged legislators to pay close attention to the message from small employers.

“Indiana’s economy depends overwhelmingly on small businesses, and they are telling us very clearly that this legislation must be a high priority,” said Quandt.

She pointed to a 2010 Ernst & Young report which found that 98 percent of all employers in Indiana file as pass-through companies, usually sole proprietorships, partnerships and other small operations. That study and others show that a large majority of all jobs in the state are created by small businesses.

“Small business is by far the biggest and most important sector of our economy,” said Quandt. “This legislation is very important so small employers and if we want to be an international leader in job creation and economic growth, then we have to be a right-to-work state.”

For more information about NFIB, please visit www.nfib.com/indiana.

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