Mitch Daniels, governor of Indiana and erstwhile presidential possibility, yesterday signed a bill that adds Indiana to the ranks of right-to-work states -- the first state in the 'rust belt' (industrial manufacturing = major union power) to do so. For weeks, state Democrats have tried to prevent the bill's passage by simply sitting out, but were finally forced to concede:
The Indiana Senate approved right-to-work legislation 28-22 on Wednesday just a week after the state House also passed the controversial measure, which would prohibit contracts requiring all workers to pay mandatory union dues, The Associated Press reported.
The law bars unions from imposing mandatory fees on members. ...
In the Indiana state House, Democrats had stalled action on the bill several times by sitting out floor sessions and denying Republicans a quorum before allowing a vote last week. The state House voted 55-41 for the measure, sending the bill to the state Senate for its approval Wednesday.
The unions didn't take to that to well (I know, weird!), gathering inside the state's capitol building before spilling into the streets for a thousands-strong rally against the measure, and many suggested that they may make an organized appearance at the Super Bowl, in Indianapolis this weekend. Daniels was not to be deterred, however, and had this to say:
“Seven years of evidence and experience ultimately demonstrated that Indiana did need a right-to-work law to capture jobs for which, despite our highly rated business climate, we are not currently being considered.
“This law won’t be a magic answer but we’ll be far better off with it. I respect those who have objected but they have alarmed themselves unnecessarily: no one’s wages will go down, no one’s benefits will be reduced, and the right to organize and bargain collectively is untouched and intact.
“The only change will be a positive one. Indiana will improve still further its recently earned reputation as one of America’s best places to do business, and we will see more jobs and opportunity for our young people and for all those looking for a better life.”