Indiana Dems: Voters should decide right-to-work

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Indiana House Democrats want voters to decide the fate of a right-to-work bill or else they'll continue stall tactics designed to derail the contentious legislation, the House minority leader said Friday.

A referendum should decide whether Indiana will become the 23rd state to ban employment contracts that force workers to pay union fees, Democratic House Minority Leader Patrick Bauer said.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma told The Associated Press that he has polled members of the Republican Caucus and sees little chance of a referendum proposal succeeding in his chamber.

"Any proposals to change (the right-to-work legislation) are probably designed to thwart it," Bosma said Thursday.

Facing long odds in a chamber where they are outnumbered by Republicans 60-40, the Democrats' only tool for stopping the bill has been denying Republicans the 67 members needed to conduct any business through periodic boycotts. Bosma and Bauer reached an agreement Wednesday to end the boycotts in return for a guarantee the House will consider the referendum.

"We're going to do the best we can, and the best we can is to hold this up until the public understands what right-to-work is to begin with," Bauer told the Associated Press Friday.

The right-to-work battle has stalled work in Indiana's 2012 House session and drawn hundreds of union protesters to the Statehouse daily. Roughly a dozen House Democrats boycotted Gov. Mitch Daniels' final State of the State speech in a rare protest over the measure.

The divisive measure is all but assured passage in the Indiana Senate where Republicans outnumber Democrats 37-13 and Daniels made the measure. The House has been the only major obstacle to the measure.

House Democrats have typically made game-time decisions in private caucus meetings this year whether to grant Republicans the numbers needed to achieve a quorum and conduct any business. Last year they left the state for five weeks to block the right-to-work measure and other Republican proposals.

Bauer said Friday he is concerned Bosma may pull a parliamentary bait-and-switch and block a vote on changing the bill to referendum. If Bosma breaks his end of the bargain, Democrats will boycott again, Bauer said.

"We want an answer before we participate in a shame and a fraud," Bauer said. "We want the answer before we walk in."


    My Union Dues are $30 a month. Why are Firemen and Policemen exempt from this law?
  • Wages Issues
    Wages have been systematically cut for several years now. Paying workers $30.00 per hour to build cars was the downfall of the Big Three. Ford Motor is very profitable, but only because its European production and sales are profitable. The decision to outsource and move manufacturing jobs offshore was aimed solely at the unions, which along with the Middle Class, had become too powerful for Corporate America. So, the battle between Corporate America and the Unions is destroying the Middle Class, and has now created a new class of ex-union-workers, called The Union of Poverty.
  • Right To Work Issues
    First, I have never been a member of a union. When the Stamping Plant was offered for sale by General Motors, the buyer told the union that he could only pay $15.00 per hour, plus full benefits. At that time, General Motors was paying the average worker at the plant $29.00, plus benefits. To make the sale better for the workers, General Motors offered to add $14.00 per hour, plus benefits, for a period of two years. The union told its members to vote "NO" and the rest is history. Now we have public tax dollars being used to create various uses for the Stamping Plant Facility. So, unemployment is better than a $15.00 per hour job. This is the very reason that most companies currently relocating or expanding facilities across the country are looking beyond Indiana. If the legislature passes the "Right To Work Bill" that Stamping Plant will become a viable option for 300+ people, willing to work for $15.00 per hour plus benefits.
  • Mississippi?
    You'll never be Mississippi. People are good, decent and respectful there. There's no way Indiana will ever be Mississippi.
  • Wish I was in Dixie
    I've lived in right to work states and I'm about to move back to one. Indiana is beyond ridiculous. Now I remember why I left the first time. We have little children and cowards in the lege who won't do their jobs, preferring to run and hide. We have union punks demanding that we pay protection to them to work. No thanks. I don't have to. God Bless the South. The people are a whole lot nicer there. The wages are just as good. The weather? Ha! You can have Indiana. Hoosiers.
  • Right!
    The voters HAVE already spoken. Is it me or is Bauer just a jackass?
  • And JEB
    In spite of the childish name-calling, comments like yours need a response. I would assume that your "get to work" advice also extends to Republicans in Congress? After all, they've been obstructing and stalling (notably Tom Coburn in the Senate) from the minute President Obama took office. And, may I remind all of you, "the voters have spoken" for Obama as well. By the logic exhibited on this board, that means the Right should pipe down and accept the voters' choice. Correct?
  • You're all right
    The voters have spoken and they are definitely getting the government they so richly deserve. We'll be Mississippi in no time!
  • Voters have spoken
    It seems that the voters decided what they wanted when they gave control of the General Assembly to the Republicans!
    • Fire The Dumbocrats
      Fire them...they are not working. Sound familiar? Again, this is why liberals love the union. I can go to work...not work while there...and make the same amount as somone that is working! Does that sound familiar? Maybe you are in the minority....
    • or perhaps...
      Or do you think it's possible that most people feel the same way?... in support of RTW and tired of the union BS!
    • Response to Joyce
      Joyce, I have never worked for a union shop and my wages in the 21 years that I have worked have increased because of my experience and accomplishments. Maybe I should get a union to get me cheaper benefits and higher pay. Forget the rest of the people that do the same thing that I do. My father worked for a company in Indy that was a union shop, and there were several employees that spent the day sitting on the toilet reading and not working, but they could not be fired. Is this why all you lazy dumocrats support unions? So you can be just like your representatives...Don't work-still get paid.
    • One person?
      How come so many of the previous comments express a similar writing style; not just what they say but the way they say it. Could they actually be coming from the same person?
      • Impeach Bauer
        What would it take to impeach an Indiana State Representative?... hasn't Pat Bauer done more than his fair share to try to destroy or deny all that is right and good for our state? Somebody please tell me ONE GOOD THING that he has done for the people of Indiana in all of his(too many)years in office...?
      • Right -to-Work
        The more I think about it, the more I hate right-to-work. It's a way to cut wages. That's all it is. It's just like Tony Bennett's grand plan that allows charter school (who employ underqualified teachers) to take over public schools and pay teachers less money. It's all about not paying teachers what they have earned.
        • RTW
          None of the republicans running in 2010 ran on making Indiana a RTW state. So when some of you are saying the people voted that's not true. I welcome a referendum.
        • Referendum means nothing
          This is nothing other than a desperate attempt by Rep. Bauer to put this off until the next election in hopes that the democratic party will pick up a few more seats to help them try to thwart the will of the vast majority of Hoosiers who favor RTW.

          I don't know if Rep. Bauer is a lawyer, but if he is, he's knowingly misleading his constituency.

          A referendum does not create a law. A referendum is nothing more than a survey. It carries no legal weight whatsoever.

          RTW does not bust unions. Unions on the other hand, have busted about every major manufacturer of anything -- most recently Hostess.

        • Money
          "They obviously believe they can spend a lot more on advertising than the instate Republican side can. And they're right."

          Of course they have more money. It comes from all of the people who have no choice but to give them money.

          I welcome a referendum as I think, like the majority Republican representation that IN has voted in, Right to Work will win a landslide victory if the people vote.

        • Right to Not Be Forced to be in Union
          The vote happened when a majority voted for Republicans at the Statehouse. It is sad to believe that I would be forced to join a Union. Shouldn't the benefits of Union membership persaude me to join (or not to join)? If you asked the DEMS you would think the Right to Work bill would ban Unions in Indiana (which it does not). Unions should stay or go based on there membership views (not forcing people to join just to collect extra membership dues).
        • Rally the Troops! Right to Work and Paul-Huntsman 2012
          Wow-Bauer really is backed into a corner. Coward-es walk outs or a referendum?

          Other than getting Barry out of office, this referendum (if it comes to that) is enough to get out and vote.

          Unions and their cronies are dwindling in #'s and represent a very small minority of the voters.

          So get all those who are against forced unionism and wage theft (forced dues) and vote FOR RIGHT TO WORK if this comes to that.

          It's funny, three factions who are the minorities, Unions, DC Bureaucrats and Wall Street, have single-handedly bankrupted our country. Don't let it happen in Indiana.

          RON PAUL 2012
        • Here we go
          Clearly what the Dems want to do is stall this, again, so they can open the floodgates to their cronies with all the out of state unions so they can flood our airwaves with advertisements against this. There will be an onslaught of outside interests telling all of us how to think. They obviously believe they can spend a lot more on advertising than the instate Republican side can. And they're right.
        • Thank You JFD
          Thank You JFD, I was actually getting ready to write the same thing. The people did decide. They decided that the Republicans should have the majority and they do.

          Go do your jobs DEMS.
        • Let the people decide
          The people decided last election. Republicans have the majority. They were voted into office and proposed right-to-work. The only thing the Dems should do is go to the state house and represent the people that voted for them. They are obviously not representing the majority of the people in IN otherwise they could vote down this bill. They need to show up and do their job.
          • No more "forced unionism"
            Some of the most compelling arguments come from analysis of the data. Northwestern University economist Thomas Holmes, now at University of Minnesota, "compared counties close to the border between states with and without right-to-work laws (thereby holding constant an array of factors related to geography and climate). He found that the cumulative growth of employment in manufacturing in the right-to-work states was 26 percentage points greater than that in the non-right-to-work states."

            In case anyone wasn't sure how they would vote if DEMS have there way.

            Vote for getting people back to work.
          • Let the people decide.
            Since this unnecessary piece of legislation won't go away, what the Dems are proposing is the best solution. I trust the voters of Indiana to make a better decision about this than the clowns in the legislature. If it's put on the ballot, the citizens will have a chance to learn more about it and find out why it hasn't been enacted anywhere else in 10 years. Something this controversial shouldn't be rammed through the legislature as Mitch and his minions tried to do. If it's such a great idea, it should be able to survive intense scrutiny.

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