Indiana right-to-work law advances toward approval

INDIANAPOLIS Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:31am EST

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INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - Republicans lawmakers began a final push on Monday to approve legislation that would make Indiana the first right-to-work state in the nation's manufacturing belt, dealing a setback to organized labor in a presidential election year.

The measure, already given preliminary approval by both chambers of the Indiana legislature, would allow workers to opt out of paying union dues, even when a workplace is unionized.

Supporters of right-to-work, led by Indiana's Republican Governor Mitch Daniels, say it is needed to bring business and jobs to the state. Opponents call it "union busting" and say it will hurt workers with lower wages.

A state Senate committee voted 6 to 1 to advance the measure to the full Senate in a hearing attended by no Democratic committee members. The full Senate was expected to give the measure a final approval on Wednesday, sending it on to Daniels for his signature.

Republican Senator Brent Waltz of Indianapolis, who was the lone dissenting vote, said: "The more I hear about right to work the less convinced I am that it will create any meaningful amount of jobs in Indiana."

Daniels, who considered running for president last year and gave the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union message last Tuesday, has made passage of right-to-work one of his priorities for this year.

Indiana would join 22 other states with right-to-work laws, most of them in the South and West. Indiana's action has stirred a national debate because no state has approved right-to-work legislation since Oklahoma a decade ago. Unions fear other states will be encouraged to pass similar laws.

Opponents in the state Senate and House of Representatives filed a series of amendments to limit the scope of the legislation, including letting voters decide on right to work via referendum. The amendments were rejected in both chambers, which have Republican majorities.

Organized labor could be a significant issue during the 2012 election year. In addition to the Indiana action, Democrats and unions are hoping to recall Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker after he championed a new law that severely restricted collective bargaining powers of public sector unions in the state.

(Editing by Greg McCune and Paul Thomasch)

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Comments (8)
No matter what the media wants you to believe, It’s already a two-man race. Of the 2,286 total Republican delegates, 1,144 are needed to win nomination. In five (5) States: Virginia, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Illinois, Gingrich and Santorum are not even on the ballot. That’s 564 delegates that they cannot get. After South Carolina, only 59 delegates have been allocated to the 4 candidates. Mitt Romney has 39 of those. This means Santorum or Gingrich has to pick up 1,144 delegates from the remaining 1,683. Let’s say that Paul only picks up 20% of the total number of delegates–I happen to believe he will do much better–but let’s pick 20%. That’s 457 delegates for Paul. Add that to the 564 that Newt and Santorum won’t have a shot at and now there are 1,021 delegates that Santorum and Gingrich have no chance of getting. Subtract that 1,021 from the total 2,286 and you’re left with 1,265 delegates. That means that Gingrich and Santorum, one or the other, have to pick up over 90% of the available delegates to get the nomination. So, essentially, we’re down to Paul and Romney. A vote for Gingrich and Santorum is a wasted vote! A vote for Paul is not a wasted vote and may well mean that the next President of the United States will be a man that, for the last 30 years, has never broken a promise, compromised his principles or waffled his position on an issue. A man that still believes that the Constitution of the United States is THE law of the land and that the protection of our individual liberties is the primary reason for the Federal government.

Jan 30, 2012 8:55am EST  --  Report as abuse
smartnic wrote:
Human rights bet a bit of a boost in the Hoosier state.

Jan 30, 2012 9:12am EST  --  Report as abuse
JamVee wrote:
“Right to Work”, is exactly that! It is not anti-union, it is, however, anti-discrimination. Anyone who wants to work, but doesn’t want to belong to a union, cannot be barred from an available job. You cannot get more fair than that?

Without “Right to Work”, a person wanting to work at a unionized plant, is forced to join the union, and pay their dues. In addition, there are no rules to force the union to let you in, but, in some cases you can “BRIBE” your way in.

Jan 30, 2012 11:00am EST  --  Report as abuse
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