South Central IN JwJ Fights Right to Work for Less
South Central Indiana Jobs with Justice (SCIJwJ) in Bloomington, Indiana announced their campaign agenda for 2011. Fighting against Wage Theft, defending the collective bargaining rights of teachers and public sector workers, and fending off misleading and anti-worker legislation called “Right-to-Work” (RTW) topped the list.
To start off the new year, SCIJwJ held a press conference on a snowy day at the Monroe County courthouse. Standing in solidarity with elected officials, religious leaders, and concerned citizens, they publicly announced their opposition to the so called “Right-to-Work” (Right-to-Work for Less) bills introduced into the 2011 Indiana legislative session. Understanding the detrimental effect this bill would have on workers if passed, Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan, Bloomington City Council members Isabel Piedmont-Smith and Andy Ruff, Reverend David Garshaw of the Monroe County Religious Leaders, small business owner Robert Deppert, and SCIJwJ Spokesperson Tom Szymanski provided their own viewpoints about RTW to the media and twenty folks in the audience.
Press coverage through the Herald-Times and WFHB community radio included the announcement of a public education forum sponsored by the SCIJwJ held on January 27 at the Monroe County Public Library. David Williams, former Labor Studies Instructor at IUPUI in Indianapolis and the current Field Operations Coordinator for the Midwest Region of the Laborers International Union, presented a powerful presentation titled “The Truth About Right-to-Work”.
There were teachers, political activists, building trade members, elected officials and concerned citizens in attendance. Everyone left with a comprehensive understanding on its history, the political motives from its supporters, who its financial backers are, and why the law is redundant. Williams emphasized why RTW legislation hurts the economy and how it interferes with private entity contract relationships (RTW makes it illegal and excludes the rights of unions to bargain for a union security clause in their collective bargaining agreements).
SCIJwJ continues to monitor the status of the pending legislation. We are reaching out to state representatives and the public to educate and counter the misleading information being propagated by the National Right to Work Committee, the Chamber of Commerce, and anti-working families state representatives. To view the anti-RTW website created by Williams that provides LOTS of great information, including the PowerPoint presentation, please visit www.BadForIndiana.org and spread the word!
Tom Syzmanski is a leader with South Central Indiana Jobs with Justice. He is an organizer and representative with IBEW Local 725.