Daniels Backs “Right to Work”
Gov. Mitch Daniels
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is getting behind legislative Republicans’ efforts to turn Indiana into a right to work state.
The governor issued a statement Thursday saying he does not believe any worker should be forced to pay union dues to keep a job.
“After a year of study and reflection, I have come to agree that it is time for Indiana to join the 22 states which have enacted right to work laws,” Daniels said.
“Lack of that simple freedom to choose costs some workers money they’d rather keep, but it also costs something even larger: countless middle-class jobs that would come to Indiana if only we provided right to work protection.”
Daniels said right to work will not affect unionization or worker safety.
Democrats fought the issue in the last legislative session this past spring, leaving the state for several weeks until majority Republicans agreed to take the bill off the table.
Indiana AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott responded to the governor’s announcement by saying Daniels would choose political paybacks over economic progress.
“Hoosiers want a balanced approach in which workers and employers have a voice in the workplace. By supporting this measure, Governor Daniels joins other extremists who seek to rob Hoosiers of their fundamental right to collectively bargain,” Guyott said.
A poll commissioned by the AFL-CIO last week showed 47 percent of Indiana voters oppose right to work. The poll released December 7 counted 38 percent of Hoosiers supporting passage of a right to work bill.
A more recent Ball State University poll released Thursday was more beneficial for Republicans’ use. It asked 607 Hoosiers about the issue and showed 48 percent of Indiana voters were undecided about right to work. Twenty-seven percent said they supported it while 24 percent were opposed.
The Ball State poll also showed job creation was considered voters’ top issue. The poll had a 4.4 percent margin of error.
“If the national economy were not in such terrible condition, we might not find this step necessary, but in this time when so many are jobless, or struggling, it would be irresponsible not to act when we know that thousands of good jobs are at stake,” Daniels said.
The Indiana 2012 General Assembly convenes January 4.