‘Right to Work’ for Less Passes, Indiana Families Vow to Fight On


Written by John Goltz, AFL-CIO

The Indiana state Senate Wednesday morning approved (28-22) a right to work for less bill. Passage of the bill, Indiana State AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott, “means that strong arm tactics, misinformation and big money have won at the Indiana Statehouse.”

Lower wages for all workers

She says the bill, which Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) will sign, sets Indiana upon a path that will lead to lower wages for all working Hoosiers, less safety at work and less dignity and security in old age or ill health. Indiana’s elected officials have given the wrong answer to the most important question of this generation.

While thousands of working people—some days more than 10,000—traveled to Indianapolis over the past few weeks as Daniels, House Speaker Brian Bosma (R) and others muscled the bill through the legislature, they were often denied the right to be heard. Says Guyott:

Opponents locked out

Citizens who stood against this legislation were barred from entering the Statehouse, were denied the chance to testify before the committees considering it and were refused meetings with their own legislators.

Independent, fact-based assessments of the economic impact on this legislation were dismissed in favor of stories, promises and unsubstantiated claims by out-of-state special interest groups. And Indiana’s legislative traditions were dishonored as those in power rammed through this bill at reckless speed to avoid further public scrutiny and to please their corporate paymasters.

A similar bill was passed in 1957, but voters not only turned out the Republican majority in the next election cycle, but the law was was repealed in 1965. Says Guyott:

As working men and women did in the 1950s and 60s, this generation of Hoosiers will now rise up, join forces and repeal this anti-worker agenda again.

This post first appeared on the blog of the AFL-CIO.


Related stories:

SCOTUS Considers Medical Leave For State Workers

Anti-Union Right To Work Bill Advances In Indiana

Despite Walkout, Indiana Passes Anti-Union Bill


Photo from jimmywayne via flickr


Doreen Agostino
Past Member 4 years ago


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Doreen Agostino
Past Member 4 years ago

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Lee Witton
4 years ago

We, as a 'moral' society need to fight for the strong return of labor unions. Those who object to them either haven't been a member of one or have heard from the disgruntled anti labor unions that they are evil entities. Without the unions, expect sub-standard wages, growing poverty, and corporations who will rule every aspect of your life. I will be delivering the first of next week to our U.S. Senators of Colorado, the petition to over-turn 'Citizens United' for Colorado. There are thousands of signatures in my state. If you've not signed the petition, please go to www.sanders.senate.gov to sign and add your name to one of the most crucial petitions for restoring sanity to America by putting corporations in their place. Get involved and if asked to deliver a petition, get all your friends and activists to join you in delivering it. My senators support overturning this egregious law passed into law by a very activist Supreme Court Justice Roberts.

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer4 years ago

Nancy L
The only law about pay is the minimum wage law. America's working classes have seen their wages stagnant for more than a decade while the pay for the top echelons in companies has become obscene. Unions have helped everyone's boat to float over the decades... you probably enjoy an 8 hour day?, a 40 hour work week?, safe working conditions?, overtime for any hours over that forty hour week?, paid vacations?, sick days?, workman's comp?, unemployment insurance?, Unions have given us the lifestyle and the standard of living we expect in a developed country. There is no law on the books that any of these have to be given to any employee and these things are what "Right to Work" laws seek to eliminate. Already most new jobs are temporary positions so corporations can start eliminating all of the above. Union people fought and died for all these and more, if you think corporate America would have given up those things on their own without unions being there for collective bargaining then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you...

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer4 years ago

Nancy L
Unions have been under siege for one reason- they leveled the monetary playing field in politics between the working classes and corporate America. The decertification of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) by Reagan in 1981 was the first shot fired in the war on the working classes. There is nothing in any NLRB rulebook that says a company has to pay you anything but minimum wage and nothing that says they have to give you 40 hours per week. Workers can be fired for any reason and unless the reason is against NLRB laws there is nothing that worker can do. The members of ALEC are pushing to get rid of the NLRB and then there will not be any worker protections. Corporate America has been shipping our manufacturing base overseas since Reagan fired the first salvo in 1981. The firing of all PATCO members at the time gave corporate America the green light to close union shops and break contracts that had been in place for years. There is no part-time, minimum wage job out there that gives a living wage. Families have to have both spouses working one or two jobs to make ends meet. Right to work states want to take America back when working conditions were so bed that 146 young women and teens perished in the Triangle Shirt-Waist Factory fire in NYC. Corporations do not want to pay for having safe workplaces and 29 miners paid with their lives. Workers give an honest day’s work now but get a kick in the teeth come payday.

J.L. A.
JL A4 years ago

Sounds more like facism than democracy being reported in Indiana.

Robert H.
Robert Hamm4 years ago

Nancy the unions have been weaker in the last 20 years that at any time in their history. They didn't drive jobs overseas to China. Chinese working for 15 dollars a month did. The idea that workers should LIVE in dormitories on company premises did. The fact that they are virtually slaves did. THEY WERE COMITTING SUICIDE FOR CHRISSAKES, NANCY!!!

You keep talking about one job in one place that had negative vibes. Thats fine, it is an experience YOU had in ONE place. Stop trying to paint ALLLLLLLLLL Unionism that way. Its totally inaccurate. Unions didnt cause offshoring. Corporate greed did. Don't forget, Nancy, that all this companies that are over there now made a FORTUNE here, paying those same union wages. But if the government will give them tax breaks to send their jobs to China they will damned sure go. They don't have JOBS like we do. They become part of their companies army. They will allow themselves to be awaked at midnight and go work 20 hours because they need something retooled. I don't think thats what you want for America.

Nancy L.
Nancy L4 years ago

Unions priced themselves out of jobs. Now they're overseas. Right to work DOESN'T mean someone can pay you anything they want, and it DOESN'T mean they can fire you for any reason. There are already plenty of rules in the lawbooks governing both of those things. Worst job I ever had was in a union. Nothing but "us against them" mentality. Very negative environment.

Nick R.
Nick R4 years ago

Having been born and raised in Indiana, I knew that bunch of idiots would not take the time to find out of Right To Work really means. We have had Right To Work in Texas for many years, that is why we have more minimum wage jobs than any other state. Perry, the Texas Village Idiot, brags about how many jobs he has created and doesn't go on to explain he how many decent paying jobs he has destroyed with this type of legislation. Talk about class warfare, that is the epitome of class warfare. Right to Work means the employer can pay you anything he wants and fire you any time he wants for any reason he wants. All the rights are for the empoyers, not the workers. I knew the Hoosiers would be to dumb to smash this on sight.

Doreen Agostino
Past Member 4 years ago

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