Indiana state House Democrats returned to the legislature Monday after denying a quorum in the House for three days last week to slow down the Republican rush to pass a so-called "right to work" bill. The law would force union members to pay to represent their coworkers who had decided not to join the union, by allowing free riders to avoid paying even their share of the direct costs associated with bargaining and handling grievances.
Although the strong presumption is that the bill will pass, given large Republican majorities in both the House and Senate, some sources have indicated it may not be a sure thing, and in returning to the House, one state representative said:
[M]omentum had “built up over the weekend” against the legislation, which bans companies and unions from negotiating a contract that requires non-members to pay fees for the representation unions are required to give all employees of a bargaining unit. Democrats held three regional hearings on the bill over the weekend.
“The public has had a chance to weigh in,” Pelath said. “And there’s different ways to make sure that the public is part of this. We feel pretty good about the way things are going, to be honest.”
The bill passed an Indiana state Senate committee vote over bipartisan opposition (one Republican joined Democrats in voting against it) on Friday, and will move to a vote of the full Senate this week. A House vote is also expected this week.