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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

The people have spoken

Words of wisdom in a Purdue Exponent student newspaper editorial:

It should not come as a shock that Republicans severely outweigh Democrats in the Indiana state house. Taking into consideration the 6:4 ratio in the house and the 37:13 ratio in the senate, Indiana Democrats are often simply along for the ride during quorums.

Democrats are understandably frustrated when controversial issues arise. However, if the majority of the state aligns with Republicans on issues


Tim Zank
Tue, 01/10/2012 - 7:40pm

"The editorial also wondered why Democrats picked this particular issue to boycott over"

Heh, the decision was made for one simple reason, the number of zeros on the checks that flow in from the unions to re-election campaigns for democrats, period.

The bill itself is so simple, straightforward and completely fair (especially to union members) to object to it is comical.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 12:25am

There's obviously another side to that coin, Tim. Businesses, which understandably dislike unions, contribute even more heavily to candidates.
The "right to work" laws aren't designed to generate jobs (although it's possible they have that effect). They're designed to bust unions on behalf of lawmakers' corporate benefactors. It cuts both ways.
If Democrats failed to oppose right to work, they'd be abandoning their natural constituency. Nothing underhanded here, and nothing surprising.

Harl Delos
Wed, 01/11/2012 - 1:14am

Right-to-work laws have always puzzled me. The Democrats should oppose them, of course, because unions like them. But do Republicans want to prohibit companies and unions from freely establishing a rule they both want?

And the law doesn't really do anything, anyway. A union could set union dues at $1 per year, and accept lower wages for employees in exchange for the company agreeing to donate an amount to the union each month equal to two hours pay for each employee.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:41am

At Fort Wayne Community Schools, teachers already have the right to refuse to pay dues. That's probably why they recently had their workday increased by an hour and their take-home pay slashed.
"Right to Work" is simply Newspeak for union-busting.

Tim Zank
Wed, 01/11/2012 - 2:40pm

Littlejohn, please explain how a handful of teachers not paying their union tab caused their hours and pay to change?

Where's the correlation or causation? Suddenly the teachers bargaining prowess was minimized because a handfull of teachers didn't pay their union dues?

How does one thing have anything to with the other?

William Larsen
Wed, 01/11/2012 - 8:39pm

Why should a union dictate to an employee to pay dues for such things as political contributions and adds that the individual employee may disagree with? In many ways the current method of requiring employees pay into a union is like the Obama Healthcare requirement. If you work for a company that has a union, you must pay union dues even though you disagree with the uinon.

I support right to work laws. No worker should be required to pay a fee to another private entity simply to work simply because there is a union.

Tim Zank
Wed, 01/11/2012 - 9:34pm

Another union success story:

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:20pm

LJ is throwing the "union-busting" phrase around as if there is something wrong with the concept.

Private sector union jobs are only 6.9% of total employment while 36.2% of public employees are unionized. Overall 11.9% (or 14.7 million jobs in the US) pay union dues. Union membership has declined significantly from 20.1% and 17.7 million workers in 1983.

Looks like a whole lot of "bustin'" is going on out there.

Harl Delos
Thu, 01/12/2012 - 12:36am

Mr. Larsen, the "political activity" argument makes a lot of sense. Fortunately, the SCOTUS has pretty well prohibited that, closing one loophole after another.

Check out International Association of Machinists v. Street (1961), Railway Clerks v. Allen (1963), Abood v. District Board of Education (1977), Ellis v. Brotherhood of Railway Clerks (1984), Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson (1986), Communications Workers of America v. Beck (1988), and Lehnert v. Ferris Faculty Association (1991).

Christopher Swing
Thu, 01/12/2012 - 1:25pm

Who's up for repeating some history? Masson's blog:

Erik Loomis at Lawyers Guns & Money brings us this blast from Indiana

Christopher Swing
Thu, 01/12/2012 - 1:30pm

Also, re: Zank's dumb link of the day:

"But longer term, the 87-year-old company has a bigger problem: health-conscious Americans favor yogurt and energy bars over the dessert cakes and white bread they devoured 30 years ago."

It's not about unions, it's about a shortage of fat, stupid, gluttonous people.

tim zank
Thu, 01/12/2012 - 8:04pm

I must reiterate for the slow minded, if you think unions exist today to provide "safety" you are either liar or a fool.

These agencies exist to babysit the safety of workers:

Unions today exist to suck money members and employers and hand it over to democrats, period.

As for Hostess Brands, they have no lack of customers, they have a DEBT problem (just like this nation) whereby they promised too many people too many benefits, and contrary to what Skittle Shi**ing Unicorn Progressives believe, the union contracts broke the company (as is always the case eventually) and also, to your last point:


Christopher Swing
Thu, 01/12/2012 - 9:43pm

I like how Tim Zank can sit there and link to an article and claim it supports his opinion, while at the same time sticking his fingers in his ears and denying the information from the very same article that does the opposite.

You would think someone would have to be brain damaged to suffer such cognitive dissonance.

More entertainment via the Masson link:


In '50s, '60s Hoosiers punished Republicans for enacting right-to-work

INDIANAPOLIS | If Indiana history is a guide, the Republican legislative leaders pushing for a right-to-work law may not be in their positions of power much longer.

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, and Senate President David Long, R-Fort Wayne, have said enacting right-to-work is their top priority when the General Assembly convenes Wednesday. A right-to-work law would allow nonunion employees at a union workplace to receive union services without paying for them.

They claim a right-to-work law will bring more jobs to Indiana. Democrats and union leaders opposed to right-to-work cite studies showing the labor policy lowers wages for all workers and does not reduce unemployment.

The right-to-work fight is nothing new for Indiana, which once had a right-to-work law

Harl Delos
Fri, 01/13/2012 - 10:08am

TastyKake (sold in Meijer when I lived in Fort Wayne) ended up selling themselves last year to Flower Foods because they built themselves a snazzy new factory that would eliminate a lot of those highly-paid union employees. It turned out to raise their costs instead of lowering them.

I stopped eating Hostess about 40 years ago because they are boring. There's neither texture or flavor to a Twinkie, and the chocolate on HoHos and DingDongs is the same paraffin crap that nearly destroyed Bun Bars when the company was owned by the O'Henry people, and their cream filling is as dry and tasteless as styrofoam.

How to fix Hostess? Switch to a nice custardy filling, add some lemon or almond flavoring to Twinkies, start using real chocolate coatings, and introduce a carrot cake snacks. Yep, it'll mean raising prices, but people will pay more if they really crave what you offer.