Daniels signs right-to-work legislation into law

posted at 11:00 am on February 2, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Indiana became the 23rd state to pass right-to-work laws that end the practice of closed shops and forced dues payments.  Mitch Daniels’ signature also makes Indiana the first Rust Belt state, long the locus of union political power, to adopt such laws.  As one might imagine, that decision didn’t come without a protest from the unions, which turned out to be futile:

Indiana became the 23rd state to pass anti-union “right-to-work” legislation on Wednesday and the first in the nation’s manufacturing heartland, dealing a blow to organized labor by allowing workers to opt out of paying union dues.

Indiana’s Republican governor Mitch Daniels signed the legislation into law immediately after it was given final approval in the state Senate, making Indiana the first state to adopt such a measure since Oklahoma did so a decade ago.

Daniels, governor since 2005 and a prominent spokesman for Republicans nationally, said he decided Indiana needed the controversial new law after several businesses decided to locate elsewhere.

“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,” he said in a statement after signing the bill.

Union activists crowded into the state capitol in a scene reminiscent of Madison, Wisconsin from almost a year ago — but more orderly.  When they failed to intimidate the state Senate into rejecting the bill, they spilled outside for a rally that loudly condemned the passage of the bill:

Thousands of union members gathered inside the Statehouse chanted “Shame on you!” and “See you at the Super Bowl!” as the vote was announced. Thousands more amassed outside for a rally that spilled into the Indianapolis streets, already bustling with Super Bowl festivities, hoping to point a national spotlight on the state.

Indiana will be the first state in a decade to enact a right-to-work law, although few states with legislation in place boast Indiana’s union clout, borne of a long manufacturing legacy. The move is likely to embolden national right-to-work advocates who have unsuccessfully pushed the measure in other states following a Republican sweep of statehouses in 2010.

The local NBC affiliate gives a look at the protests:

Unions will get a chance to keep up the spectacle for a few days leading up to the Super Bowl, but then they face the dilemma I described yesterday. They now have three fronts on which to fight in 2012: Indiana, Wisconsin, and Arizona. That means that they have to split their resources to fight Republican reformers on bills that, at least in Wisconsin, produce results that end up making the people who pass them look pretty good to voters. Scott Walker now has a 51/46 approval rating in the Badger State in the face of a recall election, and among independents it’s even better at 54%. When polled against his likely recall opponents, Walker wins by between seven and eleven points. And here is how the reforms Walker initiated play in Wisconsin now:

• 74 percent favored and 22 percent opposed requiring state workers to pay more for pension and health benefits
• 66 percent favored and 32 percent opposed the state’s new voter ID law
• 48 percent favored and 47 percent opposed limiting state employee unions’ ability to bargain over benefits and non-wage issues
• 46 percent favored and 51 percent opposed the new law legalizing the possession of concealed weapons

Unions will have a difficult time winning that recall election, and now they have to take on two more states just as Barack Obama needs their undivided attention for the presidential election. They’re likely to spread themselves so thin that they risk losing across the board, especially in Wisconsin, where they may lose all credibility.


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We’re pretty happy here in Indy about this. Right after that asinine decision by the local UAW affiliate union to shutdown an old Chrysler stamping plant downtown (Take a paycut? No way! Fire me instead!) the calls for RTW really took off.

It’ll be thrilling to see the businesses coming into the state.

BritCarGuy on February 2, 2012 at 1:07 PM

As a proud resident of a Right to Work state, let me welcome all of the workers in Indiana to what is REALLY a worker’s paradise – NOT BEING CONTROLLED BY LEFTIST UNION THUGS AND NOT HAVING YOUR MONEY CONFISCATED IN DUES THAT GO STRAIGHT TO THE D-CRAT SOCIALIST PARTY !

TeaPartyNation on February 2, 2012 at 1:09 PM

If I didn’t have family ties, I would move to a right-to-work state. I have been ripped off by forced membership in unions, that took my money and sent me glossy magazines I did not want, with articles about Ted Kennedy and others they gave my money to.

Rock the union and they beat your axe.

I do not see a difference between a crooked boss, and a crooked union. It is all the same. Power corrupts

If unions paid no salaries to their officers, and held no conventions paid for with union dues, and gave no money to political candidates it might be different. Nothing like forced confiscation of wealth to bring in the vultures to share the spoils.

I feel the same about most charities. No charity CEO should make more than minimum wage. All they need to pay are the accounting company and the law firm. Everything else should be unpaid volunteers

Daniels has a great victory. Now he must battle the Vulture Armies

entagor on February 2, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Look for
The union label

(Its sewn on the back of BHOs left ear)

BobMbx on February 2, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Congratulations to Indiana and Mitch Daniels! This is great news.

Missy on February 2, 2012 at 1:19 PM

That sucking sound you hear is companies leaving Illinois and Ohio to set up shop in Indiana. Good on you, Hoosiers!

Bob in VA on February 2, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Actually, is Ohio next?

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine Wednesday certified a petition for a constitutional amendment that would make Ohio a right-to-work state, the Columbus Dispatch reported. Amendment supporters gathered 1,000 signatures and submitted a summary of the measure, which — if approved — will prohibit mandatory participation in a union or payment of union-related fees as a condition of employment.

The proposal’s backers — primarily tea party supporters — must next go to the Ohio Ballot Board before it can seek the roughly 386,000 signatures needed to get the measure on the November ballot.

DeWine’s announcement came the same day that neighboring Indiana became the 23rd state, and the first Rust Belt state, to pass a right-to-work law. Other states that have approved the measure are primarily in the South and the Rocky Mountain regions.

Republican gains in the 2010 elections prompted legislation in many states, including Ohio, aimed at restricting bargaining rights for government workers’ unions.

Voters last fall rejected an Ohio law that placed restrictions on public-employee unions, leading tea party supporters to start their petition efforts for a right-to-work law.

LtGenRob on February 2, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Do the workers realize that they just received a pay raise? If you get to put more money in your pocket, they will have more money to spend on the economy. Isn’t this what the “payroll tax extension” was advertised as? I guess liberals are mad that the money will not come from the government but from the union cronies who won’t fill their political coffers.

djaymick on February 2, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Thousands of union members gathered inside the Statehouse chanted “Shame on you!” and “See you at the Super Bowl!” as the vote was announced.

Erm… what?

Political chants and Super Bowl celebrations at the same protest? These guys are as incoherent as the OWSers… though that might just be because they’re bankrolling the OWSers…

Mr. Prodigy on February 2, 2012 at 1:42 PM

“See you at the Super Bowl!”

???

EddieC on February 2, 2012 at 1:59 PM

I always look for the union label, and when I find it I put the item down and opt instead for the quality product.

EddieC on February 2, 2012 at 2:03 PM

If I didn’t have family ties, I would move to a right-to-work state. I have been ripped off by forced membership in unions, that took my money and sent me glossy magazines I did not want, with articles about Ted Kennedy and others they gave my money to.

entagor on February 2, 2012 at 1:12 PM

I am not completely sure why labor unions end up being controlled by the socialist. I understand that the socialist labor leaders promise the workers something for nothing, but it seems like the workers would get tired of the lies. It also seems to me that many workers aren’t leftist and that we even have union members reading Hotair. Can someone explain to me why there aren’t conservative/moderate revolts against the leftist labor leadership?

thuja on February 2, 2012 at 2:10 PM

This could be like the Charlie X maneuver on the original Star Trek.
Burn the unions out and waste their money, state after state after state…

CH on February 2, 2012 at 2:16 PM

When unions are outlawed only outlaws will have unions. Oh, wait….

princetrumpet on February 2, 2012 at 2:18 PM

As I have said before, recall rules should give the incumbent automatic reelection if the recall effort fails. This would stop this circus and save tax payer funds.

leftnomore on February 2, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Congrats to Indiana!

And I sooo much want Walker to spank the unions in the recall election I mailed him a nice check.

WannabeAnglican on February 2, 2012 at 3:03 PM

I will hate to see his term end.

guitarman67 on February 2, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Don’t worry- Mike Pence will be Indiana’s next Governor. He is a true conservative and will carry on Daniels’ momentum.

This has been a great week for Indiana. Right to work passed, and Indy has the Super Bowl.

Well played, Mitch.

GMO on February 2, 2012 at 3:36 PM

I truly don’t understand if your “product” is so awesomely awesome, why you would have to coerce people into buying it. If what the unions offer is so great then people will want to join. Good for Daniels and Indiana.

hopeful on February 2, 2012 at 3:54 PM

But non members then shouldn’t get any of the bennies that unions negotiate.

Otherwise they’re freeloading.

profitsbeard on February 2, 2012 at 11:21 AM

True. I’ve always felt that unions should negotiate contracts only for themselves. Now, if non-union members could get a better deal on their own, then that would be incentive for union members to leave and do likewise. It’s supposed to be about free enterprise-getting the most you can out of your employer while they try to get the most they can out of you.

practice of closed shops and forced dues payments.

Those practices should all be repealed…never should have been set up that way in the first place.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 2, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Speaking of the freeloading meme, when CA forced all public employees to pay fair share fees according to that theory, an employee sued the union in federal court. The union declared under oath that 80-85% of the collected dues were used for campaign donations, almost exclusively to Dems.

So the Court said he only had to pay 20% of the fee every month, since that is what was used for union matters.

PattyJ on February 2, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Of course, they’re more orderly. They’re Hoosiers.

Hucklebuck on February 2, 2012 at 4:47 PM

We can only look on in wonder from across the line in IL.

Hucklebuck on February 2, 2012 at 4:49 PM

If he’d simply get an F’in toupee, and donate a nice sum to SarahPAC, we could quickly kill off this Romney nonsense.

Sarah? Mitch? Paul R.? Mike P.?

What could have been.

NOTE: Christie is Mitt with the lbs. so he is rightly NOT included above.

LOSE MITT!
Walker 2016!

KirknBurker on February 2, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Nice.

Pablo Snooze on February 2, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Political chants and Super Bowl celebrations at the same protest? These guys are as incoherent as the OWSers… though that might just be because they’re bankrolling the OWSers…

Mr. Prodigy on February 2, 2012 at 1:42 PM

See you at the Super Bowl!”

???

EddieC on February 2, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Oh you haven’t heard? The union protesters are threatening to disrupt the Superbowl! There is talk that Teamsters will drive Semi rigs into the downtown area, park ‘em and leave ‘em. UAW to have large crowds to make it difficult for people to get to the Lucas Oil Stadium.

I am forseeing the greatest FAIL in the history of organised labor protests – if they have the stupidity to try it. By making the threats, they alerted the cops – who do you think the crowds will be cheering for?

HoosierHawk on February 2, 2012 at 8:40 PM

When unions are outlawed only outlaws will have unions. Oh, wait….

princetrumpet on February 2, 2012 at 2:18 PM

hahahahahahaha!

HoosierHawk on February 2, 2012 at 8:49 PM

His approval rating is through the roof … yes, Indiana leans red, but his approval numbers go way beyond partisan numbers despite one of the most fiscally conservative governorships in the country.

PrincetonAl on February 2, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Al, you don’t know the half of it! The old example of Government inefficiency is the DMV. Mitch cut the cost of our plates in half, closed a whole bunch of our license branches (which the media tried to whip up into a big controversy, since it was going to make life more inconvenient, etc.). Recently, I had to get a vehicle registered, I walked in, no wait, people were polite and I was out again in 10 minutes. This year I can renew my Driver’s license on the internet – they already have my picture from last time – they’ll just mail me a new one.

Cheaper, easier and more pleasant to boot. The more he cuts the size of Indiana’s government the more I like it – and the state employees seem to have figured out who works for who, just like a business that wants happy customers.

HoosierHawk on February 2, 2012 at 9:12 PM

I wonder if the NFL players union with “stand in solidarity with their union brothers” and sit out the SuperBowl while these rednecks try to ruin the game…

Nawwww…. probably not….

PointnClick on February 3, 2012 at 6:17 AM

I always look for the union label, and when I find it I put the item down and opt instead for the quality product.

EddieC on February 2, 2012 at 2:03 PM
Same here

newportmike on February 3, 2012 at 6:42 AM

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