Hundreds of pro-union activists rallied outside the Indiana statehouse on Tuesday to protest against Republicans’ drive to pass so-called “right-to-work” legislation.
The legislation would prohibit union security clauses in union contracts, meaning non-union employees would benefit from collective bargaining agreements without paying union dues. Twenty-two states have similar laws.
Republicans claim the legislation would create jobs and have made it their top priority. But opponents of the law say it is designed to destroy unions and would reduce worker wages.
“We already know that right-to-work is bad for workers and bad for the economy,” United Steel Workers District 7 Director Jim Robinson said. “Our members and their families are educated and mobilized around this critical fight.”
“Union members in Ohio, Wisconsin and elsewhere are standing up and fighting back,” Robinson said. “We’re ready for this fight in Indiana, and we’ll keep coming back to the statehouse until they get the message that we will not back down or go away.”
The protesters, wearing stickers saying “We are the 99 percent,” chanted outside the Indiana House and Senate chambers as lawmakers prepared for their 2012 session.