Indiana state Senate passes right to work bill

INDIANAPOLIS Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:32pm EST

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INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - The Indiana state Senate on Monday approved a controversial measure that would make it the first right-to-work state in the traditional manufacturing heartland of the country.

The Republican-led Senate voted 28 to 22 in favor of the right-to-work legislation after two hours of debate, with nine of the majority Republicans voting against.

The measure still must clear the Republican-majority House of Representatives, where Democrats have been using stalling tactics to prevent a vote.

Under the proposed Indiana law, employees at unionized private businesses would not have to pay union dues. Such statutes are enforced in 22 states, mostly in the South and West.

If the law goes into force, Indiana would become the first right-to-work state in the area considered the country's traditional manufacturing belt. The manufacturing belt of the Midwest and mid-Atlantic states is now sometimes dubbed the rust belt because of the large number of plant closures.

Attempts to amend the state Senate legislation last week failed, including a move to put the question before voters in a November referendum.

Supporters of right-to-work said it would allow businesses to be more flexible and attract jobs to the state. Opponents call it "union busting" and an attempt to diminish the coffers of unions traditionally supportive of Democrats.

"This so-called right to work bill is not conferring any rights to a job on anybody," said Democratic Senate leader Vi Simpson.

She said it would hurt workers because it would lead to lower wages.

The state House of Representatives discussed amendments to its right to work bill on Monday but has yet to take a final vote.

Indiana's Republican Governor Mitch Daniels, who will give the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday, has said the right-to-work legislation is a top priority for this year's Indiana legislative session.

(Reporting By Susan Guyett; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Greg McCune)

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Comments (10)
Hugh45 wrote:
It’s a stupid law.. just like the Rebub’s that have created the Right to Work law.. I for one would NOT get a job at a union place of work without having to join the union and pay dues.. Because I know .. if if I don’t I will be an outsider.. I would get NO help from anyone..I would pretty much be by myself and would soon quit.

Jan 23, 2012 8:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
UnHueMan wrote:
Welcome to lower wages. Indiana takes one step closer to becoming a third world state

Jan 23, 2012 8:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
dc2ndtest wrote:
Damn Newt and his Chtisto-bigot-neocon jealousy and hate ragers.

Too bad Newt, you and your Brownshirts will untimately be eclipsed by Romney and his plutocrat Blackshirts. Hope Newt gets the same privilege Ernsty Roehm got, the privilege of shooting himself in a basement in Bavaria. The 1% WILL PREVAIL!!!

Ginrich’s serial adultering, sell out to Wall Street make him no moral messiah.

Jan 23, 2012 9:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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