[The Brazil Times nameplate] Fair ~ 64°F  
High: 68°F ~ Low: 54°F
Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Daniels eyes 'right to work'

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gov. Mitch Daniels [Order this photo]
INDIANAPOLIS -- Gov. Mitch Daniels has long flirted with "right to work," but it seems he can't decide whether to take it to the big dance -- his last session as governor.

Daniels' disdain for public sector unions is no secret. In his first year in office, he stripped collective bargaining rights for public employees via an executive order. He calls government employees the "privileged elite" in his new book. He even lent his support in the national labor battle next door, recording robo-calls in favor of changes pushed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, which voters overturned last week.

But when it comes to blocking private sector unions and businesses from mandating union membership or dues, via "right-to-work" legislation next year, he's not ready to take the lead.

"I think it's highly likely from talking to legislators it will be in front of this next General Assembly and it has, as I thought it should, been researched, debated and vetted for a year. And I think they believe it's appropriate now to bring it forward," Daniels said.

The lead will have to come from the General Assembly, he says.

"I want to know exactly what kind of bill they want to move with and what their thoughts are about how to be successful."

When conservative Republicans pushed the issue during the 2011 session, Daniels urged them to hold off, lest it suck all the air out of the room while he tried to push through sweeping education changes that, along with efforts to draft him for a White House run, put a national spotlight on Indiana. They ignored his request, and subsequently House Democrats left the state for five weeks, union workers packed the Statehouse and, for at least a bit, uncertainty reigned.

But with Daniels off the list of presidential contenders, the state's biennial budget approved and no marquee issues arising just yet, "right to work" could be poised to dominate the short 2012 session.

"It is clear to us that the votes are there to pass it. We would like to see it happen in 2012," said Greg Mourad, vice president of the National Right to Work Committee. Mourad and other "right to work" advocates have taken to calling Daniels their "silent supporter" -- he's a big fan, but he's not ready to declare his love in public just yet.

Rep. Jerry Torr, R-Carmel, said he's ready to carry the issue in the House, just as he has for the last eight years. The question remains whether leadership will push it through.

House Speaker Brian Bosma won't say whether he's ready to push the issue, but he hinted it may be the next "step" needed to address the state's growing unemployment numbers.

"The most important thing for Hoosiers right now is to address the issue of 266,000 Hoosiers out of work," he said. "Despite all of the cutting-edge initiatives we've enacted in Indiana -- and we're recognized around the country as the top business environment in the Midwest, and one of the top in the country -- we still have 9 percent unemployment. So we've got to take another step."

At least one precursor has been met. The "right-to-work" study committee completed a series of exhaustive hearings this summer and issued a fairly sparse, 2,000-word report, last month recommending lawmakers approve the measure. Republicans running the committee approved the recommendation on a strictly party-line vote, while Democrats opposing the measure said they plan to release their own, separate report.

Mitch Roob, then Daniels' economic development chief, told the study committee that "right to work" was needed to bring jobs to the state. Supporters like Sen. Greg Walker, R-Columbus, see that as a signal Daniels is on board with them

Earlier this month, Daniels traveled to the union hub of Kokomo and told The Kokomo Tribune that businesses refuse to consider moving to Indiana because of its labor laws, despite having everything else going for it.

"I always say, 'It's like being the prettiest girl in school and they call off the prom,'" Daniels told the paper. "(You) look so attractive, just not a lot of people dating."

So for now, he showers the issue with praise without deciding whether it's worth at least a twirl at the dance before he leaves office. Call it the Hoosier equivalent of "leading from behind."

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on thebraziltimes.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Can you believe this!!?? this guy waits till he's almost outta office to pull one last attack at workers.This is why he didn't run for president because he had a dead rat!!!!

-- Posted by clycogrl on Sun, Nov 13, 2011, at 11:15 PM

Amen to that Just say no to RTW!

-- Posted by Combat VET on Mon, Nov 14, 2011, at 8:43 AM

Go get em Mitch. No one should be forced

to join anything they don't want to.

-- Posted by patriotgames on Mon, Nov 14, 2011, at 7:00 PM


-- Posted by Combat VET on Mon, Nov 14, 2011, at 8:24 PM

While it is true that unions can be a good thing, it is just plain unconstitutional to force someone to join.

-- Posted by benna30 on Tue, Nov 15, 2011, at 7:22 AM

Unions are not my backbone...

-- Posted by no1special on Tue, Nov 15, 2011, at 7:23 AM

Honest, above board union leaders like....Jimmy Hoffa?

-- Posted by Matt Dillion on Tue, Nov 15, 2011, at 12:35 PM

Only a union supporter could consider something that allows people to make their own decisions an attack. Well done.

-- Posted by Brad Hayes on Tue, Nov 15, 2011, at 3:13 PM

It's also because of Unions that Companies cannot compete in the USA. Union Workers are way OVER paid.

-- Posted by xray on Wed, Nov 16, 2011, at 4:51 PM

To join in....UNIONS ARE NOT MY BACKBONE! I have my own thank you. Unions are good for NOTHING but raising prices and demanding more and more from employers. No wonder we can't keep any companies in the US of A. I fully support the Right to Work! Free America from the Union grasp. They were good back in the day and helped shape the rules and regulations we have in the workplace today but come on people.....unions have far outlived their usefulness. Ask all those Bemis folks how much money they received each week while they were out on strike! Uh huh.......

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Thu, Nov 17, 2011, at 11:02 AM

Right to work + dumb workers= MINIMUM WAGE & POVERTY

-- Posted by Combat VET on Fri, Nov 18, 2011, at 9:33 AM

Actually if you do a smart test.... the union workers would lose. Most Union jobs are the Good Ole boy system because they can't get another job. They rely on relatives to get them in the door. You can tell by The Roger response. He has no clue and was probably one of those Relative... Union Hired Under educated Doh!! workers. Plus is a left wing Democrat to boot.

-- Posted by xray on Fri, Nov 18, 2011, at 9:26 PM

While unions do sometimes help workers in fair and ethical treatment in the workplace, I do not think they should be involved in a worker's pay rates.

Frankly, if a person feels that they are not being paid fairly, they should just find another job. When a company starts losing workers, due to pay scales, they soon raise wages to keep employees. We do not need a union to mandate that.

For those that want to claim they cannot find jobs elsewhere, it probably means the economy is bad. In which case, just be glad you have a job paying anything at all.

-- Posted by Oldtown on Fri, Nov 18, 2011, at 11:55 PM

No Bob i have no family to help me get a Union job. I get my jobs according to my work history...But A UNION JOB DID HELP ME MAKE $23.00 A HOUR AND $90.00 AN HOUR FOR OVERTIME.DUMB WORKERS ARE POOR WORKERS!

-- Posted by Combat VET on Sat, Nov 19, 2011, at 8:33 AM

Bob you are clueless. You don't know me yet...lol

-- Posted by Combat VET on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 11:59 AM

I will be glad when the door hits Daniels on his way out of office and IDOE Bennett shouldn't be too far behind! Thank God!

-- Posted by realitycheck! on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 7:20 PM

Divide and concord has won alot of wars and ideas. this is what the govt' wants the working class to do: fight between ourselves. some Unions do work.it depends on the workers and bosses.

-- Posted by carebuttonbroke on Mon, Nov 21, 2011, at 8:47 PM

Concord? LOL Unless I am mistaken, the term is "Conquer".

Sorry, I know it was off topic, but I had to. lol

-- Posted by olmedic on Tue, Nov 22, 2011, at 5:48 AM


-- Posted by carebuttonbroke on Wed, Nov 23, 2011, at 2:23 PM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: