‘Right to work’ unnecessary


It has been a crime for Indiana employers to enter into labor contracts that require workers to pay union dues since Feb. 1, 2012 — the day then-Gov. Mitch Daniels signed legislation making the Hoosier State a "right-to-work" state.

Despite Lake County Circuit Court Judge George Paras’ ruling in the summer of 2014 that right to work violates the state constitution by forcing unions to provide services to workers without payment, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld right to work that November.

After years of Statehouse debate, after on-again-off-again walkouts by Indiana’s House Democrats that delayed adoption of right to work, the conflict in the Hoosier State has been settled.

But right to work is so unnecessary, and that’s worth remembering after our three-day Labor Day weekend.

Daniels and the GOP sold right to work as a jobs bill. Jobs returned, yet Hoosier incomes continue to fall.

Yes, Indiana’s unemployment rate was just 3.1% this past February, before COVID-19 necessitated a national shutdown. But a Ball State University study in 2013 found Indiana’s per capita income plummeted from 30th in the U.S. to 40th overall and lowest in the Midwest.

In television ads ahead of legislative votes on right to work, Daniels told Hoosiers the state was "cut out of a third of all [employment] deals because we don’t provide workers the protection known as right to work." He said the previous 22 states with right-to-work legislation were "adding jobs and income a lot faster than those that don’t."

Hoosiers still await those higher incomes. And by now, they likely have guessed the legislation’s true and perhaps only purpose.

Indiana’s right-to-work law is nothing more than Republican retribution for labor.’

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