‘Right-to-Work’ Impact on Indiana

Posted at 6:33 PM, Dec 07, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-07 21:26:09-05

Among other concerns, union workers in Michigan fear lower wages are ahead if the governor signs ‘right-to-work’ into law.

However, what’s happened in Indiana under the law? What were the immediate effects?

FOX 17 turned to business expert Gerry Dick for answers. He’s with “Inside Indiana Business” and has years of experience covering business in the state.

“When Indiana became the 23rd ‘right-to-work’ state in February of this year, there really were no immediate effects. Other than the fact that tensions between organized labor and business organizations like the Indiana chamber of commerce became even more inflamed,” Dick explained.

“It’s a very controversial issue in our state. The lines were very clearly drawn between organized labor and business. I think over time any impact from ‘right-to-work’ legislation will be felt in the coming months and years,” he added.

Michigan democrats say legislation was rushed through. What was the case for Indiana?

“‘Right-to-work’ legislation has been talked about, has been discussed here in the state of Indiana for a number of years. It was brought up in the last session of the Indiana legislature and dropped it. It was not pursued at that time,” Dick explained.

“House republicans and republican leadership including Governor Mitch Daniels, made the indication early on in the session that would be pursued, there were committee hearings and things that took place. So relatively speaking, it went through in an expeditious manner but committee hearings and the process did take place over a couple of weeks,” he continued.

Have more companies relocated to Indiana since ‘right-to-work’ passed? Have worker wages dropped as some fear?

“A few companies have cited ‘right-to-work’ as a reason, one of the reasons they located here, in making their announcements, but in terms of other things like wages and those types of things and the impact, it will be a number of years in my opinion before that really plays itself out,” Dick explained.