Indiana right-to-work bill on speedy path in Senate

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Indiana could become the 23rd right-to-work state as early as Wednesday depending on how soon Gov. Mitch Daniels decides to sign the labor bill.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said Thursday he expects the state Senate to take a final vote Wednesday on the legislation following a Monday committee hearing on the bill.

Indiana is set to become first state in the union-heavy Rust Belt to makes it illegal to require somebody to become a union member or pay union dues as a condition of employment.

The measure passed easily in the House this week after Democrats ended an off-and-on boycott that had stalled the measure through the start of the session. The final House vote set the stage for the bill to make it into law shortly before 150,000 football fans pack Indianapolis for the Feb. 5 Super Bowl.

"We have a Super Bowl, the biggest sporting event in the history of this state, even bigger than the (Indy) 500. And that's saying a lot because we've hosted some big events here," Long said Thursday.

"And for those who are threatening to disrupt it, why would we give them that opportunity?" Long asked. "The Senate is in position to move it now, and it makes sense for us to do it."

Senate Minority Leader Vi Simpson, D-Bloomington, said Republicans are trying to avoid embarrassment during the Super Bowl in Indianapolis by speeding the bill to Gov. Mitch Daniels. Republicans heavily outnumber Democrats in the Senate 37-13, guaranteeing that Democrats can't use the same stall tactics applied in the House.

"I think their intention is to speed this bill though and send it with wings to the governor's desk so he signs it on Thursday," Simpson said.

Indiana AFL-CIO president Nancy Guyott said union members will continue to talk with Republican senators in hopes of persuading more to vote against the bill, but that the Senate's speed is aimed at shutting out the public.

"It seems that they'll stop at shutting no doors to the Hoosier citizen having a part in this process," she said.


  • WHAT?
    I know this is off the subject, but where has the state's surplus come from, is it real, and if this is for a rainy day, it is storming where I work and live, Why do the people get so hoodwinked? The object is to make the working person the serfs for the rich and powerful. A rule of thumb, if the chamber of commerce is for anything, it is bad for the rest of us. Mitch, remember who you work for not you and your buds, but the people.
  • My own research
    While I do not know all the ramifications of RTW, I do see how it might effect pay. Except for Virginia, most of the RTW states have the lowest of the low, in terms of wage earners. I guess that really means "Right to work for less." It's all about making the 1% money on the backs of the 99%.
  • Still Waiting
    I am still waiting for some pro-union folks to present us with a list of those unions that have disbanded because of RTW laws or withdrawn from representation of laborers in an RTW state.

    I did my own homework and couldn't find one instance where this has happened, but maybe I wasn't thorough enough. What I did find is that in all of the 22 RTW states, there is an active labor union presence.

    You would think that if RTW laws are nothing more than "union busting", the unions would have published a list of all of the busted unions, but I can't find one.
  • Response to Jerry
    Maybe I am making an assumption here but I would assume that any worker that does not participate in the union wouldn't get the luxuries of the pay scale and benefits that are negotiated by the unions.

    I also am not union and when I started, my company presented me with an offer of employment with the amount I would be making and the benefits I would receive. It was then up to me to take the offer, negotiate a higher salary, or go work somewhere else that gave me a better offer.

    I would assume that if unions disolved, the market would set an employees value, not a union and everything would continue to run well.
  • Response to J
    "J" - I'll try to answer your question from my understanding of this bill (I am not union, and actually on the white collar side of the workforce).

    Why do you unions oppose this? By giving workers a choice of whether they pay union dues or not is akin to joining a class action lawsuit without being responsible for any attorney fees. Those who choose to take advantage of RTW in the workplace will still enjoy the negotiated pay scales and benefits negotiated by the present union, but not be responsible for financially supporting these efforts. In my opinion, this will benefit a number of free-loaders until the unions die off at which point everyone will enjoy a handsome paycut or be forced to pack their bags and take a new, albeit, lesser paying position. In the end, this legislation will ultimately benefit the bottom lines of companies and their shareholders as opposed to the average American.
  • To "Applause"
    Just out of curiosity Mr/Ms. "Applause" : do you have a direct stake in this legislation or do you just enjoying partaking in controversy? If it's the latter, which I'm guessing is true, I would surmise you're no better than the so-called "union thugs" you reference.

    Carry on IBJ with your editorial-style of Republican news reporting.
  • Question for Union backers
    If unions are so awesome and so useful, why are you nervous that Indiana would allow a person to choose whether or not they want to be part of a union and pay their dues? If they are so incredible, wouldn't everyone opt in?

    The reality is, there are plenty of worthless unions and they get by on the fact that workers are forced to join their ranks and pay their dues. I would think that by giving employees the choice, the unions would have to offer real value or they would lose their workers. Hence, the well run unions would continue to operate fine (since they would offer value) and the crappy ones would die off.
    • Applause!
      Yay, applause, yah, way to go Republicans!
      Great job Mitch Daniels!

      I hope that the Republicans can hear this over the whining of the Union thugs and their bought and paid for party the Democrats!

      One more time GREAT JOB REPUBLICANS!
    • Hmmm
      Billie and Jon...got anything but talking points? Alas, the facts are not on your side. Do some research.
    • Outstanding
      I applaud the Governor Daniels and the Republicans in the House and Senate for their constant work to get this passed. We've finally released the common worker from this burdensome employment requirement. More jobs for Hoosiers on the way!
    • anti hazing bill
      they should immediately pass an anti hazing bill , you haze any one , you loose your total net worth , plus serious jail term
    • Proud
      I too am proud of what the Senate and our Governor are doing and have done for our state. We have a huge surplus of funds and we have new companies coming to Indiana, that people, means jobs. Not being forced to pay Union Dues will help, more companies will come and that means MORE jobs..The only losers are you union thugs that won't be able to line your pockets from all of the workers!! I am so proud of our senators, Republicans as well as the Democrats, who come to work, get along enough to actually work to get our bills passed, Thank You!!
    • money
      It would be interesting to see where all the money is coming from to fund the TV ads, all one sided to accept this legislation. Most people I talk to say it is "out of state" money/ not enough transparency in the procedure to please me/ sort of like Durham/Case/ the insider group who owns the rights to charter schools/ history will show a lot of Daniels (once again) special interest
    • We have time
      Our state has plenty of time for other meaningful legislation. For exmaple, we could outlaw abortion, make it legal to carry and shoot a gun anywhere you want, make it illegal to vote unless you are a white, land owning, adult. Mitch has proven he is not interested in the working person, why has it been 10 years since any state has passed rtw legislation. Mitch is proven the people do not count, only the 1% matter. Right on Mitch, you could still send a bill to nationalize everbody's money to give it to your rich friends. You have been bought and paid for, you are much like a political prostitute. In fact, just testify in the T Durham, or T Bales case. Just show the people of Indiana who you are.
    • Proud to be a Hoosier
      To see that those who we voted for, actually listened to the real people and not the Unions or out of state groups. I'm proud of almost all of our elected and especially Mr. Danials

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