Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A very, very bleak day in IN

RIP workers rights in Indiana
Anti-worker politicians in Indiana’s House of Representatives cravenly paid back their big money donors today by passing a right-to-work-for less bill.

The bill that attacks working families and puts Indiana’s economy at risk is now headed for the desk of Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Despite saying otherwise in 2006, Daniels is likely to sign the bill into law. By doing so, he has successfully allowed corporate interests to dominate Indiana’s political and economic landscapes and exploit Indiana families.

Almost as disturbing as the legislation itself, however, is the way in which it was implemented.

Prior to the House vote, the state’s Democratic senators stood up for working people by refusing to enter the Statehouse. That is Indiana's version of a filibuster, and it denied Republicans quorum to conduct business.

House Republicans began leveraging $1,000-per-day fines on the heads of Indiana’s Democratic senators, forcing them back into statehouse. Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa condemned the Republican's strong-arm tactics. He said,
Is it any surprise that Indiana House Republicans would threaten their colleagues’ livelihoods to leverage them into a vote? House Speaker Brian Bosma and his cohorts will resort to any underhanded tactic to force through right-to-work for less legislation for their corporate benefactors.
In a press statement, the IBT noted:
A recent poll conducted by Peter Hart Research found that 71 percent of Hoosiers support holding a referendum on right-to-work. Indiana passed right-to-work in 1957, only to see it repealed in 1965 after public outrage with the law shifted control of the state House and Senate to the Democrats. Last year, millions of Ohioans voted to repeal Senate Bill 5, which would have stripped collective bargaining rights from nearly 400,000 public employees.
Hoffa predicted lawmakers who voted for the bill will pay a heavy price.
I have little doubt in my mind that Gov. Daniels and Indiana’s Republican members of the state House and Senate will see a tremendous backlash from their constituents if right-to-work is passed. If there’s one thing that we have seen this past year, it’s that working men and women will rise up to challenge any legislation that threatens the welfare of their families.