The legislative battle over right-to-work ended late this morning; if the noise of chanting protesters outside my office window is any indication, however, the issue will linger for some time. And that’s OK — if those disagreeing act in a responsible manner. That’s the way our free society is supposed to work.
How long will the lingering last? The obvious answer is at least November and the next election. One of the Senate Democrats speaking against the bill this morning said that this will awaken his party’s supporters. And that’s OK — that’s the way the system is supposed to work.
No one has proclaimed right-to-work will be the silver bullet that will immediately bring thousands of jobs to our state. (But one Indiana company indicated it is now staying and a Michigan business has invited previously ruled out Indiana to compete for its relocation). It is another important tool, accompanying the other contributors to our state’s strong business climate, one that will put Indiana in the running for many more jobs and economic opportunities. And our state’s batting average is pretty good when it has a chance to be in the game.
The evidence is there for those willing to listen — unions will not go away, safety will not slip, health care and pensions won’t be threatened. Will wages dramatically increase or decline? Probably not.
Right-to-work is here. It’s time to move on at the Statehouse to other important issues; it’s time throughout the state to let individuals have the choice of whether or not they wish to pay union dues as a condition of getting or keeping their job; it’s time for more companies to consider — and choose — our state for their relocations and expansions and the jobs they will bring.