Monday, February 21, 2011
Right To Work Bill May Be Inevitable Unless Fight Continues
When Republicans purposefully scheduled a hearing on the so-called "Right to Work" bill in a very small room at the Statehouse, you kind of knew the fix was in.
With broad majorities in both of the houses of government and with Mitch Daniels in the Governor's Office, unions knew they would probably get socked in the teeth by this session of the General Assembly. Add to that a sometimes shaky Democratic majority with a weak, shellshocked leader like Pat Bauer, and it should make everyone with Right to Work (for less) concerns even more worried.
That's why it's important that the unions and their supporters are doing what they are doing today and for however long it takes. Protest, protest, protest!
It's amazing how short the Republican memories must be. It was only a few short months ago that many of their supporters did the same thing. Their supporters jam packed town halls in protest of a wide variety of things. Those same supporters pushed them into office because many on the left didn't think it was important enough to get out and vote. They sat on their hands while Republicans claimed 60 seats in the Indiana House and 37 seats in the Indiana Senate.
That's all behind us now. The point is that the constituencies under attack now must make their voices heard. Those on the right don't want to hear it. Bloggers like Abdul-Hakim Shabazz continue to attack unions for protesting what's right. Unions have fought for years for all workers...union or non-union. Today, those forces that would destroy them reap the benefits of all those gone before.
It's a long shot, but it can be done. There are plenty of reasons to stand with our union brothers and sisters and stop the assault on unions. Right to Work legislation will devastate the unions, the workers, and Indiana. This will just be the first step in the dismantling of our unions and the first step in a dangerous revolution that will put corporations in charge of everything.
It's an incremental process. First you kill the unions ability to recruit new members. That makes it easier to jump on top of the unions and start swinging. Before you know it, the fight is over.
That's not going to happen in Indiana, hopefully. Peaceful protests like the ones going on today will go a long way to helping end this harmful legislation, but all of us can be activists even if we can't make it to the Statehouse by talking to our friends, neighbors, and legislators. This is going to be a critical week in the history of labor in Indiana.