Indiana Becomes 23rd "Right To Work" State
Daniels enacted the legislation just hours after the state Senate voted 28-22 in favor. Indiana is the 23rd state in the nation to pass such a law and the first “rust belt” state, traditional union strongholds.
“This law won't be a magic answer, but we'll be far better off with it,” Daniels said. “I respect those who have objected, but they have alarmed themselves unnecessarily: No one's wages will go down, no one's benefits will be reduced and the right to organize and bargain is untouched and intact.”
While the legislation may attract new employers to the Hoosier State, it may have farther reaching implications and comes at a volatile political time.
From the Los Angeles Times:
"I'm going to do everything I can to see it repealed,"Sen. Vi Simpson, the Democratic leader, said in a telephone interview after the signing. "Indiana doesn't need to go back to the '50's." The state had a right-to-work law at that time, but it was repealed in the 1960s after power changed political hands.
After the Senate vote, thousands of unionists and their allies marched through downtown Indianapolis protesting the law. They also plan informational picketing, Indiana AFL-CIO spokesman Jeff Harris said in a telephone interview.
Daniels has warned protesters that any disruption of the Super Bowl would be a mistake.
The major union effort will be geared to the fall election. "Their victory will be as short-lived as this legislation is shortsighted," state AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott said in a statement.
Daniels opted to skip a public signing ceremony, perhaps an indication of just how controversial the law is.