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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Right-To-Work Laws / Teen Health Week

Written by Rich Copeland - Producer, Smart Talk | Jan 12, 2017 3:00 AM
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"Right-to-work" (RTW) laws are used in 27 states and give employees the ability to work without paying mandatory union fees.  Pennsylvania has no such law.

Supporters of these laws contend they allow workers to dissent with union policies and that being forced to join or pay union fees is unconstitutional.  Opponents say that collective bargaining benefits all workers, including non-union employees, and that RTW laws protect management from the collective power of unions.

The Allegheny Institute for Public Policy feels it is time to pass a "right-to-work" law in Pennsylvania.  In its December, 2016 report, the Institute points out that 24 of the 27 RTW state voted for Donald Trump.  They see this as an indication that voters are tired of public unions driving up government costs and private union corruption.

Labor advocates say these laws are unnecessary and only used by companies to dilute the power of unions.  They point to studies that correlate lower standards of living to RTW laws in their enacted states.

Smart Talk will delve into Right-to-work laws to see what value, if any, they would provide for workers in Pennsylvania.  Paul Clark, Director of Penn State's School of Labor and Employment Relations will explain the history of RTW laws and the role they've played in post-WWII economic development.  Jake Haulk, President of the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy, will join Smart Talk to discuss why these laws would be beneficial for the state and Wendell Young, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1776, will explain why organized labor opposes these laws.

Then, Governor Wolf has assigned this week as "Teen Health Week."  Speakers from the state Department of Health will address issues including diet and exercise, mental health resources, sexual health and substance abuse.

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Dr. Loren Robinson - Pennsylvania Deputy Secretary of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Pennsylvania Deputy Secretary of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Dr. Loren Robinson will discuss the health issues teens struggle with and the programs that will address them during "Teen Health Week."

 EMAILS

on Right-To-Work Laws:

- The union guy accused me several ties of working for corporations. I receive zero dollars from corporations and spend plenty of time criticizing them for corporate welfare.

This is typical union tactics, accuse people of things they know are not true in order to demonize. That is one reason unions  are losing strength.

Illogical. People in other states  are electing Republicans because Democrats have made a hash of policy and the economy.

Union have been  a big  part of the Democrat strength and are now paying a price for it.     - Jake Haulk, President, Allegheny Institute for Public Policy

- Please tell your guest not to conflate a vote for trump with a vote for anti-union legistlation.  - Matthew

- I am not in the union, but pay a fair share fee because I am in a union shop. I have no problem paying for union services provided for me.

If right-to-work comes in and fair share fees are no longer required, then those who choose not to be part of the union should lose all services and benefits provided by the union. No more free rides. Only union members receive negotiated raises and benefits, have grievance representation, etc. Non-union members, good luck on your own.                       - Tom, Carlisle

- I would like to know how many union members who complain about political support from unions do not pay the political action fee.  I paid a VOLUNTARY check off fee.

Do the leaders who want the right to work realize that they will have LESS taxes to pay the bills with because if you look at the right to work states it is the right to work for LESS     - Blaine

- I am pro-union because good management is rare. Very rare. However, unions have become suicidal by insisting on antiquated concepts of worker protection mostly focused on work rules that restrict business flexibility that is required today. In fact most unions manage themselves in exactly the same way that they fight against - dictatorial, greedy people at the top, stuck in old ways     - Jeff, Carlisle

- I just downloaded the last 990 for the Allegheny Institute and could not find any donors listed. I did see a reference to what was called an "unusual" dnation of $1M.

Could Mr. Haulk please provide the names of some of the businesses he represents? Wages are stagnant at best and declining in regards to inflation while productivity and corporate profits have increased exponentially. Also could the guests share their views on increasing the minimum wage to a livable wage?                                                                   - Nicole, Herndon

- Jake, the hack representing ALEC, pointed to the American economy as an example of why anti-union legislation will keep us better than Europe but Europeans enjoy family-friendly policies like family leave and more vacation time that we do not. The benefits of the strength of the US economy is concentrated at the top, not workers. They have gained tremendous wealth while the rest of us slip.     - Matt, York

- By December 1950 the countries that participated in the Marshal Plan had an  agri­cultural production that was slightly above prewar, and industrial production is 24% above prewar.

To make the argument the USA had no competition is completely  inaccurate 

https://fraser.stlouisfed.org/files/docs/publications/frbrichreview/pages/64960_1950-1954.pdf                                                                                             - Bob

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