During the past week, there's been a lot of coverage on the battle in the Wisconsin Senate over budget cuts, which has resulted in labor unions converging on the Statehouse in Madison in protest and counter-protests from Tea Partiers, as well as Democrat members of the Senate hiding in Illinois in order to stop Governor Scott Walker's agenda, and Governor Walker refusing to budge.
This week, similar battles have begun in neighboring Ohio and here in Indiana. In my state, the fight is over two pieces of legislation: one is HB 1468, which enables a worker to not have to join or pay dues to any union to keep their job, and the other is SB 575, which deals with the collective bargaining capabilities of teachers. Today saw unions protesting these Right-to-Work bills in Indianapolis (although a Facebook friend of mine noted there weren't as many as projected).
First off, let me start by saying I stand with the efforts of legislators in my state and elsewhere to pass Right-to-Work legislation. Over the years, I have seen how the labor unions use their bargaining power to screw businesses over while still looking like the heroic underdogs. I see people like Richard Trumka and Andy Stern, and I see the real fat cats in America, not the business titans constantly maligned as such.
The individual states are facing severe economic problems and are attempting to solve them, while the labor unions (with the help of the Obama administration) are trying to stop the states from solving the problems. These unions are not looking out for their members by their actions, but for themselves and their own nest eggs. When it comes especially to the teachers' unions, Pamela Geller describes the situation so well just in the title of one of her blog posts alone: Free lunch vs. Free people.
Another reason I particularly support HB 1468 is the fact the bill enables me, as a worker, to decide for myself if I want to join a union or not. The idea I would have to join a union in order to either keep my job or have a job brings about the rage of the inner libertarian in me. I don't want to be told by some union thug I have to join his club or pay dues in order to keep working; that's unacceptable under any circumstances.
I stand with Governor Walker, with Governor John Kasich of Ohio, with the courageous legislators who have the spine to wage the fight to pass Right-to-Work legislation, and with my fellow Hoosiers, Ohioans, Wisconsinites and all other Americans committed to the right to work, committed to breaking the stranglehold of the labor unions, committed to independence and not dependence.