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Indiana becomes right-to-work state

Published: Thu, February 2, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press


Indiana became the Rust Belt’s first right-to-work state Wednesday in a move that is sure to embolden advocates seeking to curtail union rights across the country. But whether other states can replicate the conservatives’ success in Indiana is less certain.

The political factors that aligned in Indiana were unique, and it is unlikely the same thing could happen in other states — at least for now.

Gov. Mitch Daniels’ signature Wednesday on the bill that made Indiana the nation’s 23rd right-to-work state was the end of a contentious two-year political battle that included partisan bickering, lawmaker walkouts, legislative stall tactics and union protests. In the end, Indiana marked the first win for national right-to-work supporters who tried in vain last year to push the measure despite a Republican sweep of statehouses nationwide in 2010.

It also could stand as their only victory for a while, based on a mix of obstacles that have spurned advocates in other states stretching from New Hampshire to Minnesota. The very factors that made Indiana’s right-to-work campaign uniquely successful — large state House and Senate majorities and Daniels’ ability to clear one last run for governor in 2008 before mounting a unified push for the measure — also could undermine similar efforts elsewhere.

National Right to Work Committee Vice President Greg Mourad says two major obstacles have blocked his group’s progress: governors who oppose right-to-work and pro-union Republicans in state legislatures. But much of that could change in 2012 depending on how some key state elections pan out.

“The next election should tell us quite a bit,” Mourad said Wednesday afternoon.

In New Hampshire, right-to-work supporters found themselves unable to overturn a veto from Democratic Gov. John Lynch last year. Lynch is not running for re-election in November, and the New Hampshire governor’s office often has been traded between Democrats and Republicans in the last few decades.

Likewise in Montana, Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer is term-limited against seeking re-election in November. His veto threat has stalled efforts there, Mourad said.

However, in other Rust Belt states, right-to-work advocates have run up against squeamish Republicans who don’t want to pick fights with private-sector unions whose influence has waned with the decline of American manufacturing, but not to a point where they are no longer a clear political threat.


1jasoninohio(119 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

I lived in SW Florida for 11 years. Being a right to work state was truely a blessing. I was in a management position with the company worked for and I saw guys work hard everyday. The guys that worked under me understood that with it being right to work, that they had to give a full days work on a daily basis.

Ohio would be doing it self a huge favor by going the same way as Indiana.

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2ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

We need this in Ohio.

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3VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Unions have done a tremendous amount for the rights of workers in the past, but the abuse of power by union offiicals has driven jobs out and reduced their ranks. Now, you see some union halls closed and listed for sale.

Unions have filtered into government and created higher paying jobs in government than in the private sector, thus taxpayers are now faced with paying for higher wages for service people than what the taxpayer earns.

This has gone too far, as government public servants are now dictating to taxpayers. When the wages of public servants become greater than the wages of those they serve and those public servants begin to talk down to citizens and taxpayers as if they are actually the servants, then it is time to reconsider the program.

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4jasoninohio(119 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Whats the matter HeMy, don't want to hear the truth?

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5redeye1(5615 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

HeMyPO May guess is you are a union member who really needs to led by the nose to do your job. It amazes me how little the union leaders do for the money they make. Yes I was a union member, not because I wanted to be , but was forced to be. Everyday I watched other workers doing nothing and getting the same pay as me.

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6rocky14(830 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

To all you red necks.
The top 10 states with the highest poverty rate are ALL right to work states.
How is this working?

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7jojuggie(1702 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

hemy is not smart enough to debate so he calls everyone a moron. Start working on your GED hemy.

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8Philo(99 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

If I understand this correctly, Right To Work legislation will not prevent anyone from joining a union or paying dues. It will just give those who choose not to join a union the freedom to do so without the fear of losing their jobs. Given the value we place on individual liberties, I would think most voters would favor this. If you still want to participate in a union, then go ahead and do it.

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