Indiana Republicans And Democrats Strike Deal On Union Bill

Unlike Republicans in Wisconsin who rammed through extremely unpopular union-busting legislation and now face expensive recall campaigns, Republicans and Democrats in Indiana struck a deal that will bring the state’s so-called “right to work” bill to a vote after Democrats get more time to prepare amendments and holding a full debate on the bill.

Credit should be given to Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma of Indianapolis who reached out to Democrats after watching a video of an earlier hearing that had rushed the measure through committee. The process, Bosma concluded, “did not reflect democracy’s finest hour.”

It is a small, but significant step in the right direction. Democrats still bear the burden of coming up with amendments that could be passed and ameliorate the bills worst provisions. Republicans hold a strong majority in Indiana and will therefore likely have the votes they need to pass the bill, and it remains to be seen if the rest of the legislature shares Bosma’s desire to legislate via compromise.

But they should. In fact, that is the whole point. Much like their leadership in Washington D.C., Republicans in Wisconsin and Ohio mistook a majority for mandate and forgot that in a democracy minority voices are supposed to have input in the governing process. Ramming legislation through to passage, without opportunity for a full public hearing and debate is not leadership in any real sense. It’s just a simple power grab, something Bosma in Indiana seems to understand.


Related Stories:

Anti-Union Right To Work Bill Advances In Indiana

Indiana Next Front In Union Battle

Photo from Kheel Center, Cornell University via flickr.

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Linda T.
Linda T.4 years ago

As long as Rightys are voted into power, by the uneducated and hate monguering, things will continue to get worse for Americans.

Frances C.
Frances C.4 years ago

Len, I have watched "Matewan" everyone should watch it. Excellent film.

Another one to watch is: Triangle Fire.

Leonard T.
Leonard T.4 years ago

Damn, I've forgotten three times now! Everyone who has to work for a living (I am familiar with some who don't) should watch a 1987 film called "Matewan". Most people I've known have been left sitting wide-eyed in a stunned silence.

Chad A.
Chad Anderson4 years ago

My understanding is that this bill goes beyond "right to work" legislation, which usually means you can be represented by paying a fee without joining a union. My understanding is this bill would go further and undercut the ability of unions to collect representation fees.

Frances C.
Frances C.4 years ago

Len T. Thank you for your comments below. You are exactly right. The only reason workers have had good jobs and benefits in this Country is because of Unions. It certainly was not because of big business who made their workers put in six days a week with twelve hour days. Low pay, no benefits, no sick pay, and no pensions. If you were hurt on the job you were fired, and your children went hungry. Factories where children worked long days for pennies just so they could help put food on the family table. Thanks to Eleanor Roosevelt for helping get those children out of those horrid factories.

Since the Reagan days when he fired the Air Traffic Controllers the Unions have lost ground. WE now see the result of those anti-Union policies. Lower wages, loss of benefits, loss of the middle class, and the poor getting poorer.

While the middle income people have lost this ground, the wealthy in this Country have become FILTHY RICH. We just heard that the milti-millionaire Mitt Romney pays only 15% taxes (while most of us pay 25 to 30% taxes)...that is because he makes money off money not on labor. He did say he made speeches this year for which he was paid ONLY $350,000.00. That is pocket change to the millionaires and billionaires. We must demand that the wealthy pay their fair share of tad

Linda T.
Linda T.4 years ago

I won't hold my breath that the rest of the Republican Representation in Indiana will go along.

Dr Clue
Dr Clue4 years ago

When the union busters and corporation's unlimited "citizens united" money gets done , America will be a giant sweat shop with no OSHA,no EPA, no UNIONS.

The reason these things came to be , will return like untended weeds, but this time there will be no getting rid of them and nothing to protect us from the continuing deployment of GREED.

Leonard T.
Leonard T.4 years ago

Let me just add that I have sat on both sides of the bargaining table -- first as management in a RTW state and much later as President of a local union here in Indiana. I cannot imagine a world without the benefits that miners, Pullman porters, longshoremen, teamsters and many others fought and died for over the last 100 years. Unions are good for both management and labor, and anyone who tells you otherwise knows not of what they speak.

Leonard T.
Leonard T.4 years ago

Steve R and other uninformed or ill-informed readers, please pay heed -- This year marks the 65th anniversary of the passage of The Taft-Hartley Act, so you should have had plenty of time to learn that there are no longer closed shops or union shops in the US. In addition, there are not now nor have there ever been "FORCED unionism states", although the term is used by anti-union organizations. When employees choose to be represented in non-RTW states, the agreement between the union and employer will be for an agency shop. Since all employees in the shop are represented in negotiations and, if the employee chooses, in grievance proceedings, those who choose to forgo union membership are still required to pay a fee (usually equivalent to membership dues) to cover the costs of representation. When employees choose to be represented in RTW states, the union/employer agreement is for an open shop. All employees are STILL represented in negotiations and, when requested, in grievance proceedings, however those who choose to forgo membership are not required to pay their fair share of the cost of negotiations. No portion of membership dues or representation fees may be used for political activities or contributions. Such monies must be given voluntarily for that purpose and are kept separate from membership dues and representation fees.
Unions gave us the 40-hour workweek, fair (and honest) wage, restroom breaks, lunch breaks, the minimum wage, paid vacation, funeral and si

Rob Keenan
Rob Keenan4 years ago

The U.S was it's most prosperous following World War II,into the 1970s when union membership was it's highest.We had the most prosperous Middle Class at the time.I

It doesn't surprise me anymore that someone who probably thinks that in 2008 53 % us who voted "forced" President Obama on him,believes that a majority vote to join a union "forces" it on those opposed to it.In fact unlike with a Presidential election,in a union election the side with a majority of the votes,whether for or against ALWAYS wins.Then again there will always be those few people who will recognize election results ONLY when their side wins.