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Indiana Lawmakers Likely To Revisit "Right-To-Work"

An Indiana legislative study committee is recommending that the full General Assembly again take up a so-called right-to-work proposal next year.The issue sparked a walkout by House Democrats during the 2011 session. The study panel voted 5-4 along party lines to accept a report that urges passage of right-to-work legislation. The Republican-led proposal would prohibit companies from making the payment of union dues a condition of employment.Democratic Senator Karen Tallian says she rejects the GOP position that it would spur job creation in the state. We all know what this is, it’s a big stick to bust unions. And that means one thing. It means concentration of power," she said. Republican Representative Jerry Torr argues that right-to-work would strengthen unions by making them more responsive to their membership. "In a right to work state, the unions have to sell membership to the members. They have to show value," said Torr. Democrats on the panel stopped short of saying the legislation would prompt another boycott. House business was stalled for five-weeks during the last session when the chamber’s Democrats fled to Illinois.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.