Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has just signed the Indiana “right to work” bill – which means that the legislation will become effective Indiana law now, and that Indiana will be the first state in many, many years to pass right to work laws … and the only state in the midwest to have a right to work law (the “Rust Belt”).
Of course, this was done with the expected hurrah that it will help bring jobs to Indiana. And maybe it will; everyone can agree that more jobs in Indiana is needed. However, it’s also important to consider what this law may do to on the job work safety for Indiana workers.
Will the Right to Work Law Make Jobs Safer for Indiana or Will There Be More Dangers of Death or Serious Injury in the Indiana Workplace?
According to the AFLCIO, without union protections for workers, workplaces are more dangerous. In other words, in right to work states, on the job workers have higher rates of serious personal injury or wrongful death than they have in states where there is not a “right to work” law in place.
Of course, there are others who disagree, who argue that federal laws are enough to keep workers safe on the job.
The reality is that Indiana workers will have to find out for themselves now.
Indiana is a right to work state, that’s a done deal. And the reality is this: for workers hurt on the job in the upcoming years, they will have to look to Indiana worker compensation statutes and federal laws (like FELA for railroad workers) for help – and we can only hope and pray that the number of Indiana workers hurt, injured, or killed while working for a living doesn’t increase all because this law was passed this year.