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Indiana Democrats Ask Governor For Program To Avoid Layoffs

Democrats say a work-share program that lowers workers' hours but avoids layoffs would benefit the state.

Honda Plant

Photo: Honda Manufacturing of Indiana

Governor Daniels speaking to Senior Vice President Bob Nelson and Wendy Kuntz of Body Manufacturing while on the plant tour. Manufacturing is one of the industries that has a high level of skilled workers.

Indiana House Democrats are calling on Governor Mitch Daniels to implement a program they say can help avoid layoffs around the state.

Thirty-five House Democrats signed their name to a letter asking Governor Daniels to establish a work share program for Indiana, which encourages employers to reduce the hours of their workers instead of laying them off and helps replace the lost wages with state unemployment dollars. The legislators say the state could apply for up to $2 million in federal grants to supplement the program.

Indianapolis Democrat Mary Ann Sullivan, who introduced a work share bill last session, says the program would not be a cure-all. But she says for some industries  with a highly-trained workforce, such as  manufacturing, work share could help save money.

“People are sent home, they find other work or they move, and so you have to incur additional costs to retrain new workers to come in when you’re back up to your normal workforce levels,” she says.

Sullivan says the program provides employers more flexibility and it is entirely voluntary. Daniels’ office could not be reached for comment.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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