Right-to-work legislation in Indiana cleared one of its final steps Monday with a state Senate committee passing the bill 6-1. Supporters of right-to-work, led by Indiana’s Republican Governor Mitch Daniels, say it is needed to bring business and jobs to the state. But opponents call it “union busting” and say it will hurt workers with lower wages.
If the bill gets final approval Wednesday it will allow workers to opt out of paying union dues, even when a workplace is unionized.
Local 150 International Union of Operating Engineers representative Todd Vandermyde told the Sun Times the bill goes against a protection found in the state Constitution restricting services from being demanded without just compensation.
“This bill forces my local and many others to render representation to people who choose not to be a member and pay any fees,” Vandermyde said.
Indiana would join 22 other states with right-to-work laws, most of them in the South and West, according to Reuters. Indiana’s action has stirred a national debate because no state has approved right-to-work legislation since Oklahoma a decade ago.
The bill now moves to the full Senate with the potential for amendments Tuesday and a final vote Wednesday.