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A Gathering Storm Over ‘Right to Work’ in Indiana

New York Times (01/03/12) Greenhouse, Steven

Republican leaders in the Indiana House and Senate say their first priority for 2012 will be to push through a right-to-work law. With the state legislature in firm control of Republicans, and Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels in support of the measure, Indiana is expected to join 22 other states in prohibiting union contracts at private sector workplaces from requiring employees to pay any dues or other fees to the union.

Should Indiana enacts such a law, it will give new momentum to those who have previously pushed such legislation in Maine, Michigan, Missouri, and other states. Corporations view such laws as an important sign that a state has policies friendly to business. Labor leaders say that allowing workers to opt out of paying any money to the union that represents them weakens unions’ finances, bargaining clout, and political power.