According to Jeff Harris, Indiana AFL-CIO spokesman Right to Work is a “smack at organized labor” and it will “gut unions.” Apparently, AFL-CIO bosses know that if Hoosiers aren’t forced to pay union dues, then many Hoosiers will spend their own money on something else. This may be why the AFL-CIO embraces the anti-free market Occupy America movement, because these union bosses know that ‘services’ are overpriced and bear no resemblance to free market pricing.
So, will Big Labor convince the Democrats to flee to Illinois again in effort to hide from their legislative responsibilities? We don’t know that answer, yet. But, we do know Big Labor is planning for a January collective hissy fit at the Indiana capitol building.
From Associated Press writers Charles Wilson and Ken Kusmer:
Indiana’s Republican House leader on Tuesday promised swift movement on a push to make his state the first in more than a decade to ban labor contracts that require employees to pay union fees.
Speaker Brian Bosma of Indianapolis told The Associated Press he is confident he can push the “right-to-work” bill through his chamber during the 2012 session that begins Wednesday and is spending a lot “personal capital” to do so.
Bosma, who has been the measure’s most ardent supporter, said he hadn’t yet taken a formal tally of supportive votes, but added he “also wouldn’t bring it forward if I wasn’t confident of success.”
The proposal would bar private employee unions from seeking contracts that mandate all workers pay union fees regardless of whether they are members. Supporters say the law would help attract new business to the state.
Indiana’s House Democrats successfully blocked the measure last year with a five-week walkout that denied House Republicans the numbers needed to conduct daily business. Democratic leaders have so far declined to say whether they will walk out again this session.
Indiana would become the 23rd state to enact a right-to-work law, the first to do so since Oklahoma in 2001.
Republicans hold wide margins in the Indiana Assembly: 60-40 in the House and 37-13 in the Senate and GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels has come out with strong support for the measure.
“There’s nowhere we are we closer than we are in Indianapolis,” said Greg Mourad, vice president of the National Right to Work Committee, which pushes the measure in Statehouse’s across the country.
The group has maintained a state executive director to coordinate volunteer support for the measure over the last few years and recently sent three or more new staff to shore up support in tough districts Indiana.
The procedural push starts in earnest with a joint hearing of the House and Senate labor committees Friday, just two days after lawmakers return for their 2012 session. But Bosma has been pushing the measure hard since the middle of November, when he declared it would be his top legislative priority.
Bosma calls “right to work” the “jobs bill” of the session, saying that it will attract new business to the state. Like Daniels, he has gone up on the air with TV ads pitching the bill as a tool to combat the state’s 9 percent unemployment rate.
“This is a partisan smack at organized labor that is aimed to gut unions … one of the last organizations standing in the way of corporate control,” said Jeff Harris, Indiana AFL-CIO spokesman.