From Big Government:
For the second time in a session that is only weeks old, Indiana House Democrats refused to show up for work on Tuesday, effectively delaying the passage of right-to-work legislation. The first delay was a three-day boycott that finished with Democrats coming back to the table to continue other legislative business. House Republicans expected to have a vote on the contentious right to-work bill after Democrat leader B. Patrick Bauer (known for vainly sporting a toupee) made public and private promises that his caucus would show up and participate in the legislative process.
But while Bauer and his fellow Democrats have been throwing temper tantrums and obstructing legislative business, other opponents of right-to-work legislation have been busy producing and distributing studies that purport to show how the reform would hurt Indiana’s economy. The several studies and reports reach a variety of conclusions. Some say that right-to-work would undermine private sector pension plans and others say that the reform will not have any meaningful impact on drawing job creators – especially those in the manufacturing sector – to the state. South Carolina’s success in attracting a new Boeing plant seems to go unmentioned.
Leading the way among those providing intellectual firepower and talking points for pro-union right to-work opponents is the Economic Policy Institute. EPI, a D.C. based think-tank that specializes in state-based research, has released a steady stream of information and research allegedly debunking the benefits of the reform and calling on Indiana policymakers to bend to union demands by killing the legislation.
Read the rest at Big Government.
From Big Government:
Recent polls indicate Americans are fed up with Big Labor’s schoolyard bully tactics and utilization of taxpayer money to support political candidates and liberal agendas. Additionally, Americans are tired of government deficits driven by public sector pay, overblown benefits, and restrictive work rules. Americans, including union rank and file members, are tired of Big Labor’s attempt to deprive them of basic freedoms. They voiced their displeasure in last November’s election (see Union Members Not Happy with Their Leader’s Political Spending and Union Members Overwhelmingly Oppose Union Boss Political Spending on 2010 Midterm Elections). In states like Indiana, elected officials have heard the people’s mandate and are proposing “Right to Work” legislation (“RTW”) that will provide each and every American the right to personally decide if they wish to be represented by a union, without fearing the threat of reprisal. What could be more American than the freedom of choice?
Politicians and Big Labor bosses in Indiana, Michigan and New Hampshire are already drawing the battle lines for debate and potential passage of Right to Work (“RTW”) laws during their respective 2012 legislative assemblies. Determining which state will be next and become the 23rd Right to Work state is a matter of speculation.
Read the rest at Big Government.
From Big Government:
Big Labor has another opportunity to show employers and employees their level of control over the state of Indiana. And, apparently the show starts this week as union officials promise to bring union activists by forced-dues-financed busloads into Indianapolis to intimidate, disrupt, and generally throw a collective tantrum against the simple notion that Hoosiers should no longer be forced to pay tributes to union bosses in order to get or keep a job.
The nation will watch as Big Labor Democrats will likely flee to Illinois again in 2012 rather than allow their constituents the right to pay or not pay union fees without the threat of losing their jobs.
And employers from Illinois to Ohio will be watching to decide if they can stay in the Midwest or even remain in the U.S.
Indiana is located at one of the crossroads of America, and it has the opportunity to become a free state where workers can no longer be forced into union servitude. Indiana has the opportunity to become the anchor that saves Midwest economic viability.
The Right To Work decision in Indiana may become the first and most important political decision made in 2012. And, it’s a simple choice: live free or under union boss compulsion.
From Hot Air:
Alternate headline: “Apparently, Mitch Daniels not running for president.”
Gov. Mitch Daniels signaled this afternoon that Republicans should drop the right-to-work bill that has brought the Indiana House to a standstill for two days and imperiled other measures.
Daniels told reporters this afternoon that he expected House Democrats will return to work if the bill dies. It would be unfortunate if other bills are caught up in the turmoil, he said.
He will not send out state police to corral the Democrats, the Republican governor said.
Daniels claims the Star mischaracterized his comments, insisting that he didn’t tell the legislature to drop the bill but merely said that, in his opinion, they should wait until next term. Why wait? Because, according to Daniels, the right-to-work bill is a big enough deal that it shouldn’t be taken up unless voters are expecting a debate on it. And because the GOP didn’t campaign on it last fall, voters aren’t expecting it this term. Which … is an interesting “good government” principle, but not a convincing one. If you have a legislative advantage, why not press it to advance your agenda and let the public deal with you at the polls next cycle? That’s precisely how the Democrats passed ObamaCare. And yes, they paid dearly for it, but while congressional majorities may come and go, our new health-care law will quite possibly be with us forever. Mitch the Knife, as he’s known for his budget-slashing ways, should be especially prepared to act on big-ticket items when he has the chance, whether they’ve been fully debated in a campaign or not. If he faces off with Obama next year as the nominee, there’s no telling what issue will drive the election: Maybe it’ll be entitlements (in which case we’ll lose) or maybe it’ll be the Middle East or maybe it’ll be something else entirely. If the Medicare debate gets crowded out during the campaign, would a President Daniels refuse to address it because he and The One didn’t talk much about it on the stump?
Mind you, one of Daniels’s very first acts as governor in 2005 was to strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights, which is proof enough that he’s not a squish on labor. (He also expressed support for Scott Walker just yesterday.) Still, it’s unfathomable to me that he’d decline to press hard on unions at a moment when (a) conservatives are hoping to build nationwide momentum against PEUs and (b) the Democratic caucus in Indiana has decided to skip town to obstruct the process there too. At the very least, he could have phrased this as, “I’d prefer to wait until next term to take this up, but if Democrats can’t be bothered to show up, let’s go forward.” Instead, you’ll hear him promise in the clip not to send any state troopers after them, which already has Geraghty (among others) questioning his toughness. Does this guy want to be nominated, despite his apparent willingness to alienate social conservatives and now fiscal conservatives? Or is this final proof that he’s not running after all? Click the image to listen.
From National Review:
I have literally been waiting more than a decade to find a good excuse to play this song in the Corner (I’ve used bad excuses for several times in the past).
Now someone needs to get to work rewriting the lyrics.
There is a battle brewing in several states that is going to get very heated very soon. At issue is the question of whether or not workers have a “right to work” at unionized companies without being required to pay union dues.
Last week, a Minnesota state representative introduced legislation to give voters in 2012 the ability to vote whether to make Minnesota a “right to work” state, or continue giving unions the right to have workers fired for not paying union dues or fees.
Although Minnesota appears to be the first state to take action, according to Steven Greenhouse of the New York Times, others are contemplating similar action:
Republican lawmakers in Indiana, Maine, Missouri and seven other states plan to introduce legislation that would bar private-sector unions from forcing workers they represent to pay dues or fees, reducing the flow of funds into union treasuries.
* Other states are believed to include: Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Wisconsin.
Already, though, unions in Minnesota are crying out saying the measure is designed to “destroy unions.”
“This bad bill is intended to destroy unions and every worker’s human right to bargain collectively for a better life,” AFSCME Council 5 said on its website. “Let’s stop this rip-off and continue to strive for a Minnesota where all labor is rewarded with wages that can raise a family, health care if people get sick and a retirement that’s dignified.”
As a former union representative (in a Right-to-Work state), I’ve written this post to serve as a primer to better acquaint you with the Right-to-Work issue as you begin to hear more and more about it. Hopefully, this will serve to help clear up what is bound to be some very heated (and misleading) rhetoric (like AFSCME’s hyperbole above).
Read the rest at RedState.