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Daniels says he'll back efforts for right-to-work

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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels announced in a statement Thursday that he would support Republican right-to-work proposals at the General Assembly next month, saying that Indiana "gets dealt out of hundreds of new job opportunities" because it doesn't have the law.

"Right-to-work says only that no worker can be forced to pay union dues in order to keep a job," Daniels said. "Lack of that simple freedom to choose costs some workers money they’d rather keep, but it also costs something even larger: Countless middle-class jobs that would come to Indiana if only we provided right-to-work protection."

Republican legislative leaders already have announced they would make right-to-work their top priority for the session. But while Daniels, a Republican, has said he supported the concept, he previously stopped short of saying he would back a right-to-work law in Indiana.

But on Thursday, the governor said that after a year of study and reflection, he has decided that "knowing how many additional jobs we could be capturing is what has persuaded me that we must enact this reform."

"When a business allows us to compete, we win two-thirds of the time," Daniels said in the statement. "But between a quarter and a half of the time, we don’t make the first cut, due to this single handicap."

Democrats and union leaders oppose right-to-work. They say it will weaken unions and lead to lower wages.

On Thursday, AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott said the governor's decision to back the legislation "is disappointing."

"It's a little bit ironic as the governor has contended for seven years, Indiana can prosper with the labor laws that we have," Guyott said. "As a number of polls now show, it's not an issue Hoosiers are now clamoring for."

A Ball State University poll released Thursday found that nearly half of all Hoosiers are undecided about right-to-work.

The survey of 607 Hoosiers shows 27 percent of respondents support and 24 percent oppose right-to-work, which would free workers from paying fees to unions they don’t join.

The poll found 48 percent of respondents were undecided or had no opinion. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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  • Right to Work?
    Last time I checked, it is against the law to force anyone to join a union. You already have the right to work. If you don't want to reap the benefits a union bargains for you, then don't join. No one is forcing you to join a union. By the way, will the Legislators be adding homeowner association dues as well? What about country club memberships? Gym memberships? Chamber of Commerce fees? It's the same concept. It creates a freeloader system. Right to Work, brought to you by the same folks that brought you NAFTA, the Chamber of Commerce and big business. How's that working out? If this legislation is so great for a worker, why are workers not backing it?
  • So many false statements
    Just to clarify:
    The bill gets rid of people being forced to pay fees to unions, if they are not members of these unions. So unions cannot charge fees to people any longer, who never wanted to be represented by them in the first place. What a crazy concept.... It's almost as if a gym could not charge you membership fees, if you are not a member of the gym....

    And to all these comments talking about the poor south: You are correct. Just look at the unionized, wealthy and prosperous city of Detroit....
  • Poor States
    Let us look at the states that do have right to work, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, etc. They are all POOR states and everyone makes less money. If this passes be ready to work at least 2 jobs. Yes that will create jobs because you will have to work 2. And still not make the money or have the insurance that the Union provide, then you can pay your medical bills yourself or if you cant, they might take your house to pay them. Smart thinking Mitch.
  • Geeze!
    Is he still in office?!?!?!
  • Typical
    Why am I surpised that the gov has backed the "right" not to be paid for your work. Like all of Mitch's legislation it was probobly bought and paid for by someone. History will not be kind to the Mitch years, people have suffered, education has suffered, but My Man's buddies have flurished. This could be the most unethcial group I can remember. The list of mistakes and misjudements are too long to list. But, the state can affort to spend tens of millions to defend us against IBM, but we can not afford to findout how 320m was misplaced. "Right" to work should take a back seat to right to indite.
  • Super
    Arizona has the right to work law. Guess we know how much it did not work for them.
  • THE 99%
    if you take away the union jobs that already pay well with benefits and drop there pay people with pay cuts cant afford to live on low paying jobs no matter how many jobs the 1% bring it will not pay enough to live on and please don't get sick cause your health insurance wont be there anymore
  • loss of decent wages
    If right to work is passed it will create jobs but only jobs with low pay and no benefits. This is why it would create jobs. To make such jobs available is not helpful at first it is better than no but in the long run you cannot support a decent quailty of life nor a family.
    • sc
      thats it make it so unions lose money so they will have to shut down all workers benifits and wages will go down thats why we have protesters across the country when unions are gone everybody will only make minimum wage it proves our REPB. ARE PART OF THE 1%
    • Right to Work
      It should never have come to this, that we had to enact legislation to protect our workers and future jobs from predatory unions. It is quite obvious to any thinking person by now, that unions have chased away millions of American jobs, including the million or so that Indiana has lost in the last generation. Kudos to the Governor for backing this legislation and giving future companies the nod that Indiana truly is open for business.

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