Indiana Dems Go AWOL to Slow Labor Bill

Anti-union measure would make Indiana right-to-work state
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2012 9:03 AM CST
Indiana Dems Go AWOL to Slow Labor Bill
The Democrats' seats are empty during a session in the House Chamber at the Statehouse.   (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

As Indiana Republicans push an anti-union bill at the statehouse, Democrats are fighting tooth and nail—by staying home. Many skipped floor sessions twice yesterday; without 67 members present, the state House can't legally advance its agenda, the New York Times notes. Republicans are trying to make Indiana a "right-to-work" state in an effort they say would prevent workers from being forced to join unions and bring more jobs to the state. But Democrats argue that the legislation would ultimately cut employees' pay.

The Democrats are facing at least $4,000 each in fines as they delay the bill. "We don’t have enough votes to govern the chamber, but we have enough votes to govern the timetable of what work is done," notes one. Dems haven't decided whether they'll turn up today. After a House vote, passage in the Senate is considered likely. Meanwhile, Republicans are getting fed up. "We shouldn’t have to strong-arm people or say pretty please for them to do the job they were hired to do," says the House speaker. (More Indiana stories.)

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