Indiana Democrats are ending their legislative boycott, which means that the Republicans may soon be able to pass their bill effectively banning union shops. Tweeting from the Indiana statehouse, Indianapolis Star reporter Mary Beth Schneider reports that Governor Mitch Daniels still won’t say who funded the advertising he appears in arguing for the bill. A bit:
The good news is when Indiana gets a chance to compete for new jobs, we’re winning – two thirds of the time. But we get cut out of a third of all deals because we don’t provide workers the protection known as Right to Work.
In the mystery ad from the “Indiana Opportunity Fund,” Governor Daniels makes it sound as if businesses won’t come to Indiana because the workers there don’t have enough rights. It’s as though altruistic businesses were protesting Indiana’s unfair treatment of its own citizens by staying away from Hoosier land.
In reality, bills like Indiana’s Right to Work statute hurt employees by driving down wages – by an average of 3. 2 percent. If businesses care about the workers, they should be out there picketing against bills like the one Indiana wants to pass.
Also, about that third of opportunities the governor says slip away from Indiana’s grasp: it’s worth noting that Indiana Republicans aren’t naming the businesses. They just keep saying it’s a third. As you can see from the Economic Policy Institute chart below, the union rights Indiana is about to kibosh don’t seem to have hurt the state.
On Friday, we suggested that Indiana Republicans might be in a hurry to pass this now so they don’t have protests during the Super Bowl in Indianapolis next month. The NFL players union has spoken out against the bill. “So-called ‘right-to-work’ bills divide working families at a time when communities need to stand united,” they wrote. “We need unity—not division. We urge legislators in Indiana to oppose ‘right-to-work’ efforts, and focus instead on job creation.”