Give Now

Oklahoma Workers Recount Right To Work Details At Statehouse

Legislators advanced a bill Tuesday that would allow people to keep a gun locked in a car on school property.

As Indiana debates becoming the 23rd Right to Work state in the country, workers from Oklahoma, the most recent state to pass Right to Work, came to Indiana Wednesday with warnings about the policy.

Right to Work legislation bans union contracts that require non-union employees pay fees for representation.   Jesse Isbell worked at the Oklahoma City Bridgestone tire plant for 36 years before it shut down and moved operations to Mexico.  He says Right to Work made the work environment at the plant more difficult as union members worked alongside those who chose not to pay any fees.

“This not only impacted employee morale, it affected productivity, profitability and the quality of the operations at our plants,” Isbell says.

But bill author Jerry Torr (R-Carmel) says workers forced to pay dues but not happy with their representation doesn’t promote a good work environment:

“The analogy is: Representative [Bill] Davis and I grab you and pull you in a cab with us and tell the cab driver to go to Chicago and then when we get to Chicago we tell you, ‘You owe three hundred dollars for your third of the cab fare,’” Torr says.

Isbell says Right to Work lowered wages in Oklahoma and did not deliver the jobs promised by supporters.  Torr insists the data shows that, overall, wages went up and jobs were created.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From