April 2011

Indiana Right-to-Work Effort Derailed by
Labor Pushback
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In the face of massive protests in Indianapolis, Republican leadership in the Indiana General Assembly drew back from its efforts to pass right-to-work legislation in February.

"This is a big victory for all working people," says South Bend Local 153 Membership Development Director Troy Warner. "This 'right-to-work-for-less' bill would have weakened the voice of working families in Indianapolis while strengthening the power of big corporations."

Mass rallies at the capitol against the legislation attracted thousands of Hoosier State residents from all walks of life, convincing many legislators to abandon the bill.

"When the rallies started on Monday Feb. 22, we had more than 2,000 folks at the capitol," Warner says. "By Tuesday, it was up to 3,500 and by Wednesday it was 6,000."

Warner also credits protests in Wisconsin and Ohio in helping to convince Gov. Mitch Daniels and other elected officials to back off their threats to go after workers' rights.

A diverse coalition aligned against the legislation—representing academics, civil rights organizations, community activists and labor unions—despite GOP efforts to divide labor against itself.

"Initially the GOP told the building trades that they would exempt us from the right-to-work law and they would even leave project labor agreements alone if we didn't protest," Warner says. "Well, I believe in united we stand and divided we fall and an attack on workers' rights anywhere is attack on working people everywhere, so we weren't buying it."


Read more: THE WAR ON WORKERS: Favorites Draw Record Votes

Read more: Wisconsin Ground Zero for Attacks on Workers

Read more: Ohio Workers Stand Up to Anti-Worker Legislation

Read more: New Hampshire: 'The Toughest Fight Yet'

Read more: Florida Workers: Standing Together

Read more: Meanwhile, Back in Washington, D.C.:
GOP Plan Calls for Gutting Rights, Slashing Jobs

Read more: Activists Keep up the Pressure on Michigan Lawmakers

Read more: Maine Workers Tell Gov.:
'We Need Good Jobs, Not Partisan Attacks'

Thousands of Indiana residents flood the state capitol in late February to tell their legislators to vote no on 'right-to-work-for-less' legislation.

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