The Indiana legislature will soon be discussing the so called "right-to-work" laws. The debate concerning the law is bound to be contentious as labor unions oppose certain of its provisions. This would include the provision that would exempt non-union workers from having to pay "fair share" fees to the union at places of employment. One state senator referred to this as "a big stick to bust unions."
The claims of certain legislators as to why they support such legislation include:
- Such legislation will make unions more responsive to their members because such unions will have to earn their fees.
- Businesses will be able to cut expenses without cutting wages.
- Overtime such a measure will lead to wage growth.
Whether these or any other claims concerning the right-to-work laws are valid remains debatable. Opponents of such laws feel that Indiana's business climate is already positive and that such a measure is not necessary. The right-to-work law and other like measures as "radical attacks on working Hoosier families."
Whether one does or does not support such measures, that such a law is being debated in the Indiana House indicates the political minefield legislators are walking into when discussing proposals that will affect workers wages and working conditions. For a proposal to be enacted at all means that it will require concessions to big business, unions, political constituents and lobbying groups interested in employment related matters.
What this means for the individual employee is that the employee may need individual representation and counsel from a law firm that has experience in employment related matters to understand this legislation and how it affects their individual situation. The interests of each of these groups in proposing workplace legislation may not be in the best interest of individual workers.
Source: nwi.com, "Panel Endorses right-to-work law," by Dan Carden, Oct. 26, 2011