Wednesday Feb. 1, 2012
Media Contact: Jeff Harris, Indiana State AFL-CIO, 317.632.9147
INDIANA AFL-CIO PRESIDENT REACTS TO PASSAGE
OF RIGHT TO WORK FOR LESS BILL
Guyott says RTW law worst in a generation; laments negative impacts on working families
INDIANAPOLIS – Following today’s passage of the so-called “right to work” law, Indiana State AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott issued the following statement:
“On behalf of all working men and women across Indiana, we are extremely disappointed that the Indiana General Assembly has passed the “right to work for less” bill today. They have set our state upon a path that will lead to lower wages for all working Hoosiers, less safety at work, and less dignity and security in old age or ill health. Indiana’s elected officials have given the wrong answer to the most important question of this generation.
I am reminded of the saying "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," and it seems especially fitting today. Hoosiers have been here before. From 1957 to 1965, Indiana experimented with this exact same law and after its utter failure to produce on any of its promises of economic salvation Hoosiers rose up, changed elected officials and repealed it.
It appears we are headed there again.
Sadly, the passage of this bill not only means that workers’ rights and ability to collectively bargain will be significantly weakened, it means that strong arm tactics, misinformation and big money have won at the Indiana Statehouse. Citizens who stood against this legislation were barred from entering the Statehouse, were denied the chance to testify before the committees considering it and were refused meetings with their own legislators. Independent, fact-based assessments of the economic impact on this legislation were dismissed in favor of stories, promises and unsubstantiated claims by out-of-state special interest groups. And Indiana’s legislative traditions were dishonored as those in power rammed through this bill at reckless speed to avoid further public scrutiny and to please their corporate paymasters.
However their victory will be as short lived, as this legislation is shortsighted. As working men and women did in the 1950s and 60s, this generation of Hoosiers will now rise up, join forces and repeal this anti-worker agenda again.
In 2006 Governor Daniels predicted a “civil war” if this legislation was brought forth – yet, on his way out of office, he launched this divisive attack anyway. But he was wrong; this is not a battle of brother against brother. It is a battle of Hoosier neighbors against corporate special interests from fields afar. And while it is not a war of our choosing, over the days ahead, citizen by citizen, block by block, community by community, legislative seat by legislative seat we will wage this “war” to take back our government from the special interests and restore the hard-earned rights of all Hoosier workers.”
The Indiana State AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations) is a federation of 800 local unions across the state belonging to 50 International Unions. In total, the Indiana State AFL-CIO represents more than 300,000 working Hoosiers.
For more information on please visit www.inaflcio.org or call 1-800-433-8423.