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Unions Hurry To Negotiate Before Right-to-work Takes Effect

Unions are trying to minimize the effects of the legislation before the deadline.

Unions have until less than a month to negotiate contracts before the full impacts of right-to-work are felt. After that date, unions cannot include wording in their contracts that would require employees to pay union dues.

Negotiating new contracts could be difficult since employers could try to postpone the negotiations until after the March 14 deadline. Former Indiana University Communication Workers of American Local 4730 President Peter Kaczmarczyk says the onus will fall on the unions to communicate with their members and establish why unions are important.

“Continue to provide their members with facts and just do the best they can to continue show that unions are a good thing. And that we will continue to fight for you. And like I said and get them to the polls.  I can’t stress that enough. They’ve got to go and vote.”

He says if employees understand the value of the union, they are more likely to keep their membership. And the more members, the stronger the union.

Indiana Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Brinegar says the change will positively affect the state’s economy but will not negatively affect unions.

“There are no wages that are going to going to go down. There is no one who is going to be prevented from joining a union as was stated by the opponents and nobody’s benefits are going to be changed.”

Brinegar says several companies have already contacted him about moving their operations to the state since right-to-work’s passage.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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