Wisconsin Uprising Spreads to Indiana on Monday as Lawmakers Try to Sneak Union-Busting Bill Through
America's labor movement is readying for another show-down with union-busting legislators on Monday, as Indiana considers a so-called "right to work" law similar to that proposed by Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. A South Bend Tribune editorial warned hoosiers to "beware of the 'right-to-work' hoax that politicians and CEOs are pushing. A right-to-work law won't help business and it won't help workers, calling it "nothing more than a tactic to weaken and destroy unions."
Last week, the legislation looked dead. On Thursday, Heath VanNatter, state representative for District 38, told local media, “I don’t think it is going to come to vote anyway, so it really doesn’t matter what I think because I am pretty sure it is not even going to be heard in committee.”
But the following day, the Associated Press reported, "Republicans who control the Indiana House are keeping alive so-called right-to-work legislation that has already drawn protests from Democrats and labor unions." According to the Teamsters, "This last minute addition to the schedule is designed to give the public as little notice as possible and prevent working men and women from coming to Indianapolis to oppose this bill." The union is mobilizing its members to head down to the statehouse on Monday and make their voices heard.
Indiana may be the next battleground, but according to CBS News, "Nine other Republican governors from Nevada to New Jersey are also targeting unions with various proposals: decreasing wages and bargaining power in some cases, increasing what workers contribute to pensions and benefits in others." As I wrote last year, Republicans are portraying public employees as the "welfare queens" of the 21st century, and using that image in an attempt to destroy public sector unions -- the last with real bargaining power -- once and for all.