Indiana panel OKs labor bill as unions protest

February 21, 2011 2:44:08 PM PST
A Republican-led Indiana House committee has advanced so-called right-to-work legislation after hearing opponents argue that it was aimed at weakening unions and would drive down wages.

The House employment committee voted 8-5 along party lines Monday to send to the full House the bill prohibiting union membership and fees from being a condition of employment.

Several hundred union members backed the hearing room and filled hallways throughout the Statehouse in protest of the bill.

Republican Rep. Jerry Torr of Carmel and business group representatives told the committee that one-third of more of expanding companies won't consider Indiana because it doesn't have a right-to-work law. Democratic committee members questioned that argument since no such companies were identified.