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- Sen. Vi Simpson (D-Ellettsville) speaking against right-to-work
- Unionists protest passage of right-to-work bill Wednesday
- Judge reverses fines against Democrats over House walk-out
- Statehouse stalemate coming to an end?
- Ads take aim at missing Democrats
- House Democrats facing fines
The bill, which will allow workers at unionized businesses to avoid paying union dues, was later signed by Governor Mitch Daniels.
“The Senate’s action today is an historic step toward ensuring more freedom for Hoosier workers,” said Senate President Pro Tempore David Long (R-Fort Wayne). “It’s no secret that job creation has been our number one priority this legislative session. With 250,000 Hoosiers still looking for work, it is our duty as state lawmakers to create the best environment possible for attracting jobs and investment to Indiana. HB 1001 will help us do this.”
The bill passed through the House and the Senate’s Pensions and Labor Committee, despite weeks of boycotts by the Democrats.
Democrats have claimed Republicans tried to cram the bill through the Republican-controlled Senate, so that it would pass before the Super Bowl.
Wednesday, Senate Democrats spoke out against the bill before the final vote, and hundreds of unionists protested outside the Indiana Statehouse, vowing to continue their fight.
"We'll just have to vote these guys out,” said Ty Thomas, a union worker. “It just doesn't make any sense. They haven't explained very much to us.”
"And it's more than just the union workers and the construction workers, any middle class worker of Indiana is affected by this vote,” said Brandon Barber, Local 481.
The workers began to march in protest of the bill’s passage. Thousands of protesters marched down Capital Avenue, into Super Bowl Village and straight through Georgia Street.
Among the protesters, some saw this as a visible way to make their point. Others considered it a protest of the Super Bowl itself.
"We're walking through this area because we're pretty sure the NFL players union wouldn't want to play in a state that harbors such laws that are anti-worker,” said protester John Andrews.
The march continued south by Lucas Oil Stadium, before looping back to the Statehouse.
Indiana now joins 22 other states with right-to-work laws.
Following the passage of the controversial legislation, thousands of unionists began to march through Super Bowl Village in protest of the bill.
Governor Daniels issued the following statement after signing the bill:
“Seven years of evidence and experience ultimately demonstrated that Indiana did need a right-to-work law to capture jobs for which, despite our highly rated business climate, we are not currently being considered.
“This law won’t be a magic answer but we’ll be far better off with it. 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 collectively is untouched and intact.
“The only change will be a positive one. Indiana will improve still further its recently earned reputation as one of America’s best places to do business, and we will see more jobs and opportunity for our young people and for all those looking for a better life.”