Expert says 'Right to Work' bill is about politics, not economic - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Expert says 'Right to Work' bill is about politics, not economics


Where are the Democrats? The legislative session is underway in Indy. But for the second straight year and second consecutive day, most Democrats are staying away from the House-Chambers in protest.

The big issue? Right to Work Legislation. And experts tell us that this is not an issue of economics or what's best for the State of Indiana, just politicians being politicians. And both sides will play chicken with the issue of Right to Work until one can't push any further.

Paul Pierce is a Political Science professor at Saint Mary's College. He's seen this fight before, over the same bill.

"The intention is the same as it was last session, they find the so called right to work law so objectionable that they're simply going to do anything they have to do to keep it from passing." Pierce said.

Pierce says what is objectionable about the bill to Democrats is that it will weaken worker's unions. And he says the Democratic party in Indiana relies heavily on unions for volunteers, money, and voter support.

"The Republicans quite rightly recognize that if they can weaken those unions they can significantly weaken those Democrats and that's why they're going to the bats on this issue." Pierce said.

Elkhart Republican Representative Tim Neese says this bill is not a new approach, it's about giving more opportunity for workers in Indiana.

"Roughly 200,000 people in the work place in Indiana are members of a trade union that really don't want to be." Neese said.

Neese says the bill is about giving those people a choice about whether or not they want to join a union. Democrats though don't see it that way.

"I think it's a filibuster until we can get the truth, the knowledge about the bill." Patrick Bauer, House Minority Leader, said.

Neese says without taking part in chamber discussions there is no way for voices to be heard regarding the bill.

"The Democrats are making a very bad choice in not showing up for work." Neese said.

Neese says it's important for all to participate, whether we win or lose.

"If you don't show up for work, you're probably going to get fired. And I see this as simply a blatant effort in not doing a job that you were elected to do." Neese said.

From the outside looking in, the professor says holding out isn't equivalent to staying home from work.

"There's actually some occupations where you actually get things done by not showing up." Pierce said.

Friday at 9:00 AM there is four hours allotted for the House to voice opinions on the Right to Work Bill but if the Democrats don't show up again, it will leave things in limbo. And if representatives leave the house for more than three they will be fined $1,000 everyday after. Pierce says for the Democrats to get their demands, the fines might be worth it.

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