Indiana Set to Join Right-To-Work States

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Gov. Mitch Daniels is expected to back a decision by the Indiana Economic Development Corp. calling for a right-to-work law in the Hoosier State. The IEDC’s board voted unanimously Thursday to support the labor policy.

“These folks work all the time, as a staff and as a board, to bring jobs to the state, and they say we’re missing a third to half of all the opportunities because we don’t provide this protection,” Daniels said. “It’s a very important point to pay attention to.”

The Republican governor is chairman of the IEDC board but did not vote on the right-to-work resolution. He’s scheduled to announce his position on right-to-work next week.

According to reports, Gov. Daniels spoke positively at a meeting with the IEDC board about the findings of a Republican-led legislative study committee that said right-to-work will bring more jobs to Indiana. Right-to-work exempts nonunion members at a union employer from paying fees for services they receive from the union.

IEDC CEO Dan Hasler said enacting right-to-work would be the “single, probably greatest thing that can happen for us” in terms of luring companies considering relocating, Northwest Indiana Times reports.

“Our worst losses are not after we’ve had a chance to sell Indiana; our worst losses are when we don’t get a chance to sell Indiana,” Hasler said. “We’ve got to have more shots on goal, that’s all there is to it.”

Democrats and labor union officials contend right-to-work is intended to defund and destroy unions. They also cite studies showing right-to-work reduces wages and benefits for union and nonunion workers.

Daniels told the board right-to-work does not limit unions from continuing to organize and pointed out several right-to-work states have greater union membership rates than Indiana.

“It would be a very different thing if it was being suggested that the right to organize be limited in some way,” Gov. Daniels said.

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