Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Indiana Going Right-to-Work

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Indiana Going Right-to-Work

Article excerpt

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana is poised to become the first right-to- work state in more than a decade after the Republican-controlled House passed legislation on Wednesday banning unions from collecting mandatory fees from workers.

It is yet another blow to organized labor in the heavily unionized Midwest, which is home to many of the country's manufacturing jobs. Wisconsin last year stripped unions of collective bargaining rights.

The vote came after weeks of protest by minority Democrats who tried various tactics to stop the bill. They refused to show up to debate despite the threat of fines that totaled $1,000 per day and introduced dozens of amendments aimed at delaying a vote. But conceding their tactics could not last forever because they were outnumbered, they finally agreed to allow the vote to take place.

The House voted 54-44 Wednesday to make Indiana the nation's 23rd right-to-work state. The measure is expected to face little opposition in Indiana's Republican-controlled Senate and could reach Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels' desk soon.

"This announces, especially in the Rust Belt, that we are open for business here," Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said.

Sparks fly on GM's Volt

WASHINGTON -- House Republicans accused the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Wednesday of trying to keep secret a battery fire in a Chevy Volt out of fear of damaging the value of the government's investment in the car's manufacturer, General Motors, and jeopardizing President Barack Obama's re-election prospects.

"You wait six months before you start an investigation, and two weeks after you start an investigation the secretary says it's fine, and you think that's normal?" asked Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of the regulatory affairs subcommittee. The agency said last week that there was no discernible safety trend, and the inquiry was closed. …

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