Daniels signs right-to-work bill into Indiana law

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Indiana has become the first Rust Belt state to enact a right-to-work labor law, prohibiting employment contracts that require workers to pay union fees or join unions.

Gov. Mitch Daniels signed the bill Wednesday afternoon after it passed the Indiana Senate hours earlier following weeks of discord that saw House Democrats boycott the Legislature and thousands of protesters gather at the Statehouse.

Indiana is the first state in a decade to enact a right-to-work law.

"Seven years of evidence and experience ultimately demonstrated that Indiana did need a right-to-work law to capture jobs for which, despite our highly rated business climate, we are not currently being considered," Daniels said in a statement. A spokeswoman said he would not take questions on the measure Wednesday.

Supporters say the measure helps create a pro-business climate that attracts employers and increases jobs. Opponents say right-to-work laws lead to lower wages and poorer quality jobs.

Protesters say the fight isn't over and note that Indiana passed right-to-work legislation once before, but repealed it. Some plan to distribute leaflets at Sunday's Super Bowl.

Hundreds of union workers were downtown Wednesday to protest the bill in front of the Statehouse and at the Super Bowl Village on nearby Georgia Street.


  • Uh...
    Having been FORCED to pay union dues and fees AGAINST MY WISHES AND IN CLEAR VIOLATION of the relevant Supreme Court decisions - which, despite the "common knowledge" do NOT carry civil or criminal penalties, just a "That's a no-no, now give the nice worker his money back..." - I heartily approve this measure. Oh, yeah - if unions are so great, Howcumwhyfor are fewer than 10% of all workers also union members????? The unions are against this because it cuts, not into their membership (although it will), but because it cuts OFF the fees they used to charge NON-UNION workers for the right to work in a union shop. In other words, the unions will take a hit in... their PROFITS! It costs the union the same amount of overhead to represent 2 workers or 200,000. So, I don't buy into "the unions will wither and die" without those extra fees. Oh, yeah - NO! Those extra fees CANNOT, under the Supreme Court rulings, be used for lobbying or other political activities - they have to be spent on direct representation costs... like printing the proposed contract, or maybe renting a meeting hall to conduct negotiations in... they MAY NOT BE USED FOR CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS, NOT EVEN VIA A PAC! First Amendment violation.
  • Thanks Betr'nu!
    Thanks Betr'nu for confirming that my support of an epmloyee's right to work without being forced to support a union was the right choice! If I think a union adds value to a workplace, I will join. If I don't believe they do, I won't join.
  • Rubber hits the road
    The time for discussion is done. Since the Chamber of Commerce claims we were automatically locked out of 35-40% of ALL new
    business starts or expansions (due to no RTWFL), and we were already one of the most successful states (especially in the midwest)
    in attracting new business, we better see some immediate benefit from this law. The
    Republicans need to be able to recite chapter
    and verse every new job generated by November
    or be prepared to jump in line with everyone else looking for a job.
  • Governor Daniels Confusing Comments
    Governor Daniels says that this bill will in no way result in lower pay for workers. What then is the reason for its passage. It could only be to weaken unions ability to support political candidates of their choice (read mostly Democrats). Lower pay for workers would be the only thing that would possibly attract new business to the state. Governor Daniels would at least be more credible were her to speak the truth.
  • so much misinformation
    So much misinformation...it is impossible for anyone to completely underestand the options. Indiana had a RTW law years ago and it was repealed. This law will only cause more friction between "workers" and "management."
  • I'm actually anti-union
    But the law is more than about giving folks a choice. It allows big business to come in and pay less and less and offer fewer benifits. It is the GOP, once again, catering to the 1%. Catering to big business making money hand over fist at the expense of the workers. When you are talking about "giving folks a choice," you are partially correct but completely misguided, either by accident or on purpose. Only one RTW state is in the top half of the states in worker wages. Right to Work = Right to Work for less.

    Can Hoosier's recall the governor? Lawmakers as they are trying to do in Wisconsin?
  • Response to J
    J... You're correct - if unions are great wouldn't employees voluntarily pay dues?

    The answer is no. They don't have to pay dues per the RTW law. They will, however, enjoy the benefits and negotiated wages of those paying union dues - yes, hard to believe, but this is the way union shops work. So they'll freeload as long as they can until the union dies off due to lack of paying members - that's when we'll see the true effects of RTW. In the short term, life is good and I hear that GM, Ford, and Chrysler are all moving their headquarters to Indy! Hooray for RTW!
  • I can't figure this out
    I am still trying to figure out how RTW is anti-worker when in reality it gives each worker the freedom to choose whether or not they join a union. Isn't forcing people to join a union against their wishes anti-worker? And if unions are doing such great stuff for their constituents, won't everyone still want to be a part of them?
  • sorry Betr'nu
    Think Betr'nu (or at least try to...) - like the labor unions did a wonderful job of protecting jobs at the Indianapolis Chrysler plant. Guess it's better to negotiate for NO JOBS than ones that pay market-driven wages!!!??? And you wonder why workers don't want to be forced to "drink the Koolaide" and pay your union dues?
    No kidding. every worker is protected by federal law for everything. thank the unions for this, but now is the time to "reset" the labor market and let give people the "RIGHT TO WORK" harder and get promoted on merit - not seniority. the unions are just a political PAC now...
  • Perhaps
    Maybe, Esta, the union folks were here to lend their support to Super Bowl sponsors Pepsi (union), Budweiser (union), or to see some music on the stages (managed by unions) or to check out the NFL Experience whose ticket sales will benefit another unionized organization - the NFL.
    • Pull up a desk
      Jay - Youth or ignorance can be excused - Once. Organized labor was once not only
      popular but necessary to allow folks to get
      fair wages and hours, and to avoid being exploited by employers. The reason you don't
      understand is because of the work done by others over the past 150 years. The lethargy
      you feel now is because your rights and protections were won years ago. RTW is the
      organized pushback of corporate interests
      to undo employee rights and benefits, and
      without union labor fighting for these guarantees, get used to your wages stagnating (more), less safety and health
      provisions (have you heard of TORT REFORM),
      and even child labor restrictions rolled back.(Newt wants inner city kids to be part time janitors in their schools). Bottom line, labor as a component of business input is as legitimate as any other. Are you against the power company or any other supplier to business negotiating for the best deal they can get? Frankly, an oil company, or other critical vendor to a business, could be much more devastating to the future of their success than labor (generally a partner for making
      a business work well). Try getting Exxon
      to lower prices to keep your business viable.
      Don't hate your neighbors - This is not us v.
      them but a movement to protect people - EVERYWHERE.
      • Super Bowl Village
        I'd like to thank all the out of state union guests for visiting our fair city and spending their per diems here in Indy. I saw a number of them heading back to their buses this afternoon for the long ride home carrying beers with them. I'm sure drinking at 2:00 on a Wednesday afternoon is the norm for these folks.

        Again, thanks for coming and dropping some coin. Hopefully you can keep RTW out of your states so the jobs will all come here to Indiana.
      • Help me understand....
        How can anyone argue that people shouldn't have the right to work wherever they can get hired WITHOUT being forced to pay union dues?
        Can't the unions make membership attractive enough that people would elect to join and pay dues? Otherwise, what good are they? I'm really struggling to understand this....
      • Here we go
        Wow esta if that was your post, sorry, but
        you need to grow some more skin. Send a link
        to something relevant.

        BTW, you better hurry, the Hitler Youth
        meeting starts at 6:30.
      • Immediate Impact
        Hey, Betr'nu, if you don't like, move. BANG!!! One new job created. Man, that was easy.
      • Useless Map
        Apparently Indiana will now appear to look blue from space.

        Thanks for wasting our time.
      • Wrong Way
        Mitch has moved us the wrong way, economically, socially, and metally. He has made us think his policies are near "god" like, however the reality is these policies have retarded our growth and will cripple our state for decades.
      • Indiana is Island of Opportunity
        A Right to Work law secures the right of employees to decide for themselves whether or not to join or financially support a union.

        Check this map out.

      • Enjoy The Super Bowl
        Everyone knew it was going to become law.

        I think the out of town union members just wanted union paid transportation and lodging to Indy for the Super Bowl party.

      • CLAAAAASSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        Alright everyone, draw a line all the way down
        your page. We're going to start another column
        next to the one labeled "Jobs created in Indiana since the change to Daylight Savings
      • I told you before when i was alive
        The very worst state legislature in the country; and Daniels is a tied for the worst governor.

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