Ind. right-to-work bill moving closer to law

Posted: January 26, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana is poised to become the first right-to-work state in more than a decade after the Republican-controlled House passed legislation on Wednesday banning unions from collecting mandatory fees from workers.

It is yet another blow to organized labor in the heavily unionized Midwest, which is home to many manufacturing jobs. Wisconsin last year stripped public unions of collective-bargaining rights.

The vote came after weeks of protest by minority Democrats who tried various tactics to stop the bill.

The House voted 54-44 Wednesday to make Indiana the nation's 23d right-to-work state. The measure is expected to face little opposition in Indiana's Republican-controlled Senate and could reach Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels' desk shortly before the Feb. 5 Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

Republicans recently attempted similar anti-union measures in other Rust Belt states such as Wisconsin and Ohio where they have faced massive backlash.

Indiana would mark the first win in 10 years for national right-to-work advocates who have pushed unsuccessfully for the measure in other states after a Republican sweep of statehouses in 2010. But few right-to-work states boast Indiana's union clout.

The measure now moves to the Indiana Senate, which approved its own right-to-work measure earlier in the week. Gov. Mitch Daniels has campaigned extensively for the bill and said he would sign it into law.

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