Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels called on state lawmakers Thursday to pass right-to-work legislation saying that “no worker can be forced to pay union dues in order to keep a job,” according to the Indianapolis Star
Daniels, who many Republicans had hoped would enter the 2012 presidential race, said in a statement that a right-to-work law on the books could help draw more businesses to the state and would not jeopardize worker safety or hurt unionization efforts.
State Republican leaders had already made right-to-work legislation a top priority and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce had backed it as well, according to the Star. But Daniels last year urged his GOP colleagues in the state House to set the issue aside in the face of strong Democratic opposition.
Now, however, the newspaper reported that Daniels likes the idea of Indiana becoming the 23rd state in the nation to adopt a right-to-work law.
The law would ban union contracts that require non-union members to pay fees for representation. The Star reported that Indiana GOP lawmakers had long argued that the law would remove barriers to economic development.
But Democrats and union officials say right-to-work laws only lead to lower wages and more workplace-safety problems.
Indiana AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott called it “a little bit ironic” that Daniels has come out in favor of the law, telling the Star that he has said for the years that the state is prospering economically.
“This isn’t an issue anyone campaigned on. And as a number of polls now show it’s not an issue Hoosiers are clamoring for,” Guyott said.
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