Right To Work, The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

By Jeff Neumeyer

January 6, 2012 Updated Jan 6, 2012 at 7:26 PM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- The "right to work" debate raged on in Indianapolis Friday, where supporters and opponents sparred over whether the bill will boost jobs in Indiana, and bring the kinds of jobs that help or harm the Hoosier economy.

A special hearing was held on what promises to be the signature issue in this year’s session of the General Assembly.

Jeff Neumeyer: " A rare joint session of the Senate and House Labor Committees was conducted Friday, where testimony was delivered by business leaders and union supporters on opposite sides of the "right to work" issue.

If Indiana becomes the 23rd state to pass the bill, unions and companies negotiating contracts would be banned from requiring workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment.

John Sampson of Fort Wayne addressed lawmakers, saying without "right to work", too often Indiana gets knocked out of the running for new plants before it gets a fair chance to compete."

John Sampson/N.E. Indiana Regional Partnership: " We've been told consistently that Indiana, not being a right to work state, they do not want to locate in our state and it's a shame, because it doesn't reflect the skill, the work ethic, what we can bring to the table."

Neumeyer: " Union leaders scoff at that, but say even if that's true, the state and its workers wouldn't be better off with right to work."

Kevin Ray/Laborers Union Local 213: " It's going to make a lot of people hurt in their pockets, they're taking away from us."

Neumeyer: " House Democrats still aren't showing up to provide a quorum necessary to conduct business, as they strive to keep the bill from advancing."

State Rep. Win Moses/(D) Fort Wayne: " We're caucusing in the building, trying to figure out the best way to handle a very difficult situation for the workers of Indiana. I'm not sure how long we'll be there, but we are working hard at doing what we think is best for the workers and the people of our district."

Neumeyer: " There was no vote this day on the matter, but with the prospect of Republicans ordering fines against 'no show' Democrats, it's not clear how much longer Democrats will be able to keep the bill at bay.

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