As Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels prepares to sign right-to-work legislation into law, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said he's not worried about the move driving companies out of Illinois and to Indiana.
Before Quinn presented his State of the State address Wednesday, he told CBS Chicago that most Illinois businesses are happy with union labor, and that prohibiting unions from requiring representation fees is a bad policy.
“That ain’t gonna happen, I’ll tell you that," Quinn said, when asked by CBS whether businesses will leave Illinois for Indiana. "I think that’s a bad bill and I’m very sorry that Mitch Daniels is gonna sign the ‘right to work for less’ bill. That’s a bad bill for the incomes of hard-working people."
Indiana lawmakers voted Wednesday to make Indiana the Rust Belt's first right-to-work state, the Associated Press reports.
Hundreds of union members gathered inside the Statehouse chanted "Shame on you!" and "See you at the Super Bowl!" as the vote was announced. Thousands more amassed outside for a rally that was expected to spill into the Indianapolis streets, already bustling with Super Bowl festivities, hoping to point a national spotlight on the state.
Indiana will be the first state in a decade to enact a right-to-work law, although few states with legislation in place boast Indiana's union clout, borne of a long manufacturing legacy. The move is likely to embolden national right-to-work advocates who have unsuccessfully pushed the measure in other states following a Republican sweep of statehouses in 2010.
“Having a good union work force like Caterpillar and John Deere and Ford and Mitsubishi and Chrysler; they all have – Navistar as well – they’re all organized by the UAW and the UAW believes in making sure that people get a decent wage, get a decent health care plan and a decent retirement,” Quinn told CBS.
This is not the first time Quinn, a Democrat, has butted heads with Republican Gov. Daniels.
When Quinn passed the state's tax hike last year, Daniels said businesses that choose to stay in the state are "suckers."
"It's like living next door to `The Simpsons' – you know, the dysfunctional family down the block," Daniels said at the time.
Quinn has also criticized Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, saying that the Republican governor "should be ashamed of himself" for taking collective bargaining rights away from public workers.