Education News

Indiana politicians taint Super Bowl, pass anti-worker law

by Félix Pérez

Ignoring the voices of tens of thousands of workers and their families, the will of the majority of Hoosier voters, newspaper editorial boards, and even the union representing professional football players, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed a “right to work” law Wednesday, February 1, that will take $1,500 out of the pocket of the average Hoosier worker.

Daniels penned the law just hours after the Republican-controlled Senate, which did not allow amendments or debate, approved the bill. The governor, who refused to take questions, and his state legislative counterparts fast-tracked the legislation so that corporate-sponsored pre-Super Bowl activities in Indianapolis and the February 5 game itself were not marred by news stories of angry everyday workers holding signs, marching, chanting and staging rallies. Last year, the game drew 111 million viewers in the United States and a billion worldwide.

Tellingly, the National Football Players Association issued a statement last month against right to work. “NFL players know what it means to fight for workers’ rights, better pensions and health and safety in the workplace. . . Today, even as the city of Indianapolis is exemplifying that teamwork in preparing to host the Super Bowl, politicians are looking to destroy it trying to ram through so-called “right-to-work” legislation. “Right-to-work” is a political ploy designed to destroy basic workers’ rights. It’s not about jobs or rights, and it’s the wrong priority for Indiana.”

Opponents of the bill, which they call “right to work for less,” say it does nothing to create jobs and strips the hard-earned rights and benefits of Indiana workers on the job. They contend that the bill is a partisan power grab by Daniels and the legislature designed to appease corporate donors and punish those who don’t agree with them.

Worker advocates cite recently surfaced video footage of Daniels in which he opposes right to work: “I’m a supporter of the labor laws that we have in Indiana. I’m not interested in changing any of them. Not the prevailing wage laws and certainly not a right-to-work law. We can succeed in Indiana with the laws we have, respecting the rights of labor and fair and free competition for everybody.”

Daniels joins two other anti-worker governors, John Kasich of Ohio and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who have made national news for their abrasive style of leadership and their full-speed-ahead mission to strip workers of their right to negotiate collectively for reasonable wages, benefits and working conditions.

Stay abreast of how workers in Indiana and in other states are fighting back to protect their rights and stand up for the middle class against radical politicians. Sign up to receive weekly email alerts from EdVotes.

16 responses to “Indiana politicians taint Super Bowl, pass anti-worker law

  1. This is 2012, not 1012, which is where the republiCONS (thanks NorMAN) will take them if people continue to vote these liars and thieves into office. The king and the aristocrats will live in the castle and the serfs will reside in the mud huts surrounding it.

  2. Even REpublican state senators admit that the 320 million that “amazingly turned up” were known about by Governor Daniels. I met with one at a town meeting.
    That money was earmarked for schools. Instead, its being tucked away. I personally took a $5000.00 pay cut to keep a job. That is $5000.00 per year I can spend in my community, that comes from sales tax. Instead that will be kept in Indy.
    Sadly, comments on the Indy Star facebook page are gloating over the passage of the RTW bill. These people have no idea what it means to them even if they do not work in the traditional union trades. Sad. I am voting Dem and have stepped up to political action committees. spread the word, remember this in November and make sure your neighbors, friends, and anyone you come in contact with remember too!

  3. Now is the time to vote for people that will do the job of putting their constituents first not last. Get rid of the lousy legislators that are doing a piss poor job of working for making a strong america.

  4. I wonder how many of those jobs of assembling the Super Bowl, (No I didn’t pay to type that), Village were good paying Union jobs. I would imagine quite a lot.

  5. Yet we keep voting for these republicans. Let’s hope that in 2012 people will make the choice to get rid of them. If not, our salaries will plummet, Medicare will be in the hands of corporations, social security will be on its way out. New rules that are helping people with medical problems will be out of luck. The gap between the 1 percent and the rest of us will widen, and they’ll have us where they want us – struggling for their handouts of mediocre wage jobs, hoping that each month we will survive the next.

    Thank God we still have the vote – before they take that away, vote for the politicians who actually care for Americans, not the ones who allow our jobs go overseas. Every vote for one of them means a vote for America.

  6. I also live in a “right to work state” (Arizona) and just last night read all the bills the Arizona legislature has put in play for 2012. A good deal of them involve anti union bills and anti collective bargaining bills, among others aimed at Teachers, police, firefighters , and nurses. They have already taken away most of our rights and about all we have left is the collective bargaining (and in my school district it has been 4 years since we got a pay increase!) I can only hope that more people in Arizona are getting fed up with the Republican controlled house and senate and will vote a good deal of them out this year. For the first time a senator was successfully recalled this year so hopefully the trend will continue. Luckily the governor is not on board with the legislature (yet) on the anti worker issues and I hope it stays this way.
    I hope the workers in Indiana put up a big stink during the Superbowl so that the whole nation can see what their governor and legislators are doing to them! Stick to it Hoosiers! Get a referendum going right away! These people have their own political agendas and it does not include you!

  7. People need to march, with their signs, in the Super Bowl area so the media will
    see the Indiana disgrace. There are Super Bowl viewers who have no idea what is going
    on in Indiana or what is going on here in Wisconsin.

  8. I live in the “right to work state” Florida. It is distressing and divisive when I choose to do the honorable thing and pay my union dues for better salaries and working conditions while the person next to me enjoys all the benefits without having to contribute at all. Florida is an example of low wages for the workers and corporate greed at the top.

  9. Indiana will never get any better until Mitch Daniels is out of the governor’s office. He only cares about big business. He is the most uncaring governor we have had in my 64 years in Indiana. To think, some wanted him for president. Indiana is in the black because of the Obama stimulus money. And services have been greatly cut.

  10. The return of slave ownership for Republicans must be next on the agenda! Then they won’t have to ship jobs overseas. Tax breaks for the rich aren’t enough for them. They want others to suffer with low wage jobs.

  11. Having taught in Europe for 9 years and learning the status afforded in those countries on all levels to educators, it is nonsensical that for the first time in my 40 year career, we may be financially closer to those country’s professional status, in relation to our private sector, and we are in danger of falling into the abyss of third class citizens, by losing the right of collective bargaining through blitzkrieg, republican legislators. Collective bargaining has been the only thing keeping teachers from becoming teacher of years ago, in the one room schoolhouse. Much of the collective bargaining success had been to create job rights language, usually in lieu of pay raises. The destruction of collective bargaining puts the jack boot of oppression on our throats, causing the loss of pay, rights, and the ability to improve lot in life. If we want to attract better quality teachers, this is not the way. Recall these clowns, overturn their destructive, draconian legislations. Occupy America!

  12. This title is incorrect, technically. It should say that Indiana *Republicans* passed this bill! Please don’t paint all in public service with a perjorative brush.

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