Indiana Right to Work Legislation to be Brought Up Next Week

By Scott Sarvay
By Maureen Mespell
By Jeff Neumeyer

January 12, 2012 Updated Jan 12, 2012 at 12:11 PM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – The House's Republican leaders will now wait until next week to bring the "Right-to-Work" bill before the full chamber for a vote.

A reading of the bill is set for Tuesday and votes on democrat amendments could be taken then.

"Right-to-Work" was expected to be heard Friday, but it was pushed back in a move to avoid another democrat boycott.

Democrat party members have already shut down business four times in the House this year by being absent from the floor as they protest the bill.

Indiana’s Right to Work legislation was described as lighting fast approval Tuesday morning. But State Rep. Win Moses says it was “a poke in the eye.”

It prompted another walk-out by Democrats Tuesday afternoon.

Jeff Neumeyer traveled to Indianapolis, where Republicans and labor supporters are clashing more with each passing day

Around 1p.m. protesters started to gather outside the main House chamber to send their message loud and clear.

House Democrats stayed in private meetings three days last week, denying the quorum necessary to conduct House business, blocking action on a Right to Work bill.

They returned to work Monday and Republicans wasted little time using it to advance the measure and rile opponents on the other side.

First thing Tuesday, the Republican controlled House Labor Committee took less than seven minutes to get a ‘yes' vote on Right to Work.

Leadership allowed no discussion, no Democrat amendments were entertained.

The vote came down 8 to 5 in favor of passage, along party lines.

State Representative Moses never even expected such lightning fast action on the bill.

"The Republicans are trying to push this through before people understand what it is,” says Moses. “They took no amendments, they had no discussion, they voted it out in six minutes. They didn't have to do that."

State Rep. Phil Giaquinta (D) 80th District says, "Very unsettling to most of our caucus members that this type of procedure that this would take place, I mean, this is really ridiculous."

Republicans were not about to apologize for what happened.

State Rep. Jeff Espich (R) 82nd District says, "Democrats need to be here, whether or not they like the issue. I spent a lot of time in the minority, and I didn't always like what happened, but my job was to be here."

Union supporters knew all along, stymieing progress on Right to Work would be a tall order, given the bill's strong support from Governor Daniels and Republicans who hold large majorities in both the House and Senate.

Representatives from a Dana union in Fort Wayne are making rounds to try and persuade GOP lawmakers to re-think their position, but they know it's an uphill battle.

Trustee Charlie Cole of Dana Union Local 903 says, "There's nothing, nothing from them. They're just going to ram this through and down our throats, as a matter of fact."

The right to work bill is eligible for second reading in the House in two days. A full vote in the House is possible on Friday.

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