Right To Work Delay Could Benefit Some Unions

By Jeff Neumeyer

February 3, 2012 Updated Feb 3, 2012 at 6:24 PM EDT

INDIANA, (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Unions angered over passage of the "right to work" law in Indiana may be able to stave off its impacts for a while, thanks to a delay in the effective date.

Governor Mitch Daniels signed the "right to work" bill Wednesday.

But the law does not go into force until March 14th.

That could be a silver lining of sorts for “right to work” opponents.

Union supporters swarmed the Statehouse throughout January, trying to persuade lawmakers to shoot down "right to work", a game plan that ultimately failed.

The bill means companies and unions can no longer negotiate contracts requiring workers to pay union representation fees.

But the old law and the old way of doing business will live on for about six more weeks.

Fort Wayne labor lawyer Alan Verplanck says if an employer and union would happen to hammer out a new labor agreement between now and March 14th, let's say for five years, the traditional model forcing payment of union dues by workers could continue on for that particular business way beyond 2012.

Alan Verplanck/Labor Lawyer: " My guess is that, the legislature wanted to give people time enough to adjust to the proposed changes, cause this is a pretty significant change in existing labor law.”

“Right to work” was fashioned, in large part, to attract new businesses to Indiana.

Because labor agreements would not already be in place for those firms, proponents claim “right to work” could play a major role in bringing new jobs to the Hoosier state.

Those proponents also reject arguments that “right to work” will drive down wages and hurt union membership, saying there is no factual basis in support of those claims.

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