Indiana Governor Poised To Sign ‘Right To Work’ Bill

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will sign into law a controversial bill that would prohibit labor contracts from requiring workers to pay union dues, the governor’s office The AP reports that this has been a long fight that sparked a walkout of Democrats last year. Also, the Super Bowl will be held this weekend in Indiana and the protests are threatening to spill over onto Super Bowl events.

“Shame on you!” activists chanted. “See you at the Super Bowl!”

The AP reports that Daniels warned protesters that a move to protest at Super Bowl events would backfire.

The wire service adds:

“Supporters say right to work helps create a pro-business climate that attracts employers and increases jobs. Opponents say it leads to lower wages and poorer quality jobs, and they accused Republicans of rushing the bill through to avoid disrupting the Super Bowl. …

“Experts say many factors influence states’ economies and that it’s nearly impossible to isolate the impact of right to work. For major industries, access to supplies, infrastructure, key markets and a skilled workforce are key factors, according to business recruitment specialists. For a state’s workers, the impact of right-to-work legislation is limited because only about 7 percent of private sector employees are unionized. Over the years, job growth has surged in states with, and without, right-to-work laws.”

The New York Times reports that if those protests do disrupt Super Bowl events, it could put players, who are themselves union members, in an awkward spot.

DeMaurice Smith, the players’ union executive director, told the Times they opposed the legislation.

“While we’re out here, we’re going to make sure the folks who work for a living and unions they belong to know we appreciate them, we appreciate the strength they gave us for our fight,” said Smith. “We’re always going to be standing shoulder to shoulder with men and women who want to collectively protect themselves.”

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