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Bedford Union Workers Hold Public Forum On Right To Work

A group of union workers gathered Friday evening in Bedford to discuss right to work. No supporters of the legislation were present.

Bedford public forum

Photo: Christopher Ayers/WFIU News

Union workers from the United Auto Workers, the International Union of Electronic Workers and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters spoke against right-to-work legislation at the forum.

A crowd of about 40 Bedford community members gathered at the United Auto Workers building on Friday evening for a public forum to discuss Indiana’s pending right-to-work bill. The legislation seeks to make it illegal for unions to force employees to join the union or pay a union administration fee.

Those in attendance represented a variety of unions, judging by a show of hands at the beginning of the meeting, and there appeared to be no one in attendance in favor, at least vocally, of the right-to-work bill. Representatives from the International Union of Electronic Workers, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and he United Auto Workers took turns speaking and answering questions about the legislation.

The local Auto Workers Union President Scott Moore, who hosted the event said what concerns him most about right to work is the effect it would have on all of Indiana’s workers, not just those represented by organized labor.

“I think that the unions here in Indiana set the bar for the wages and benefits for the rest of the working class, because that is what unions are about,” he says. “Whether you are a member of our local union, we are trying to bring standards up for all workers for the state and for this country as well.”

Moore also said supporters of right to work are perpetuating what he sees as a false narrative that relationships between organized labor and employers are naturally antagonistic.

“I think it’s kind of a myth in the business community that unions and companies are at odds against each other. We certainly want our companies to be successful because in turn our membership is going to be successful as well.

“Meanwhile in Indianapolis, boycotting House Democrats are set to return to the chamber on Monday morning according to House Minority Leader Patrick Bauer.

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