Heartland Institute Comments on Indiana Right-to-Work Bill, Democratic Boycott

January 10, 2012

On Monday afternoon, House Democrats in the Indiana Legislature ended their boycott, which denied the quorum necessary to consider a right-to-work bill favored by Republicans. The vote will receive a committee vote Tuesday morning, said House Speaker Brian Bosma, and could get a floor vote later this week.

The following statements from experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Tammy Nash at tnash@heartland.org and 312/377-4000. After regular business hours, contact Jim Lakely at jlakely@heartland.org and 312/731-9364.

“Indiana is poised to become the 23rd state to enact a right-to-work law – which really ought to be called ‘right-to-choose.’ The law would abolish collective bargaining agreements forcing all workers at a particular job site to join the union as a condition of employment. Workers remain free to choose to join the unions in their workplaces, however. Right-to-work laws are fair, but unions hate them because such laws force the unions to justify their existence – competition in the free market, in other words.

“Passage of this legislation in Indiana would be a huge step forward for Hoosiers.”

Maureen Martin
Senior Fellow for Legal Affairs
The Heartland Institute

“The right-to-work debate is infected by political considerations on both sides of the aisle, with Democrats aware that the law would curb their easy access to labor unions’ campaign contributions, while it would of course remove a GOP fundraising disadvantage. But the political considerations shouldn’t obscure the basic fact behind the reform bill: It would prohibit businesses from taking money out of individuals’ paychecks without their consent.

“Regardless of who gets the money – unions in this case – it’s wrong for a private organization to take a person’s pay without that person’s explicit agreement. Right to work simply restores an individual’s right to decide how to spend his or her money. It’s high time Indiana protected its workers from such income confiscation by private organizations.”

S.T. Karnick
Director of Research
The Heartland Institute

The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.