Press release from Indiana State Senator Jim Banks:
Banks seeks amendment to protect Hoosier workers
Columbia City senator says union members should always be able to vote uninhibited
(STATEHOUSE, December 28, 2010) – State Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) recently filed legislation seeking an amendment to the Indiana Constitution guaranteeing an individual’s right to vote by secret ballot in any election where union representation is at stake.
Banks explained that the question is not whether unions are good or bad for the Indiana economy. Rather, the question is whether Hoosier workers should have a right to join or not join unions in free elections.
“I believe Americans want workers to be able to join a union if they freely choose one,” Banks said, “but only when they are organized through honest, democratic elections.”
Banks’ bill would have to be approved by two consecutive general assemblies and then ratified by a majority of the state’s voters before it could be added to the Indiana Constitution.
Indiana employers have expressed concern that a national push to allow unions a card-check selection option over a secret-ballot election could result in coerced unionization of Indiana labor, thereby discouraging investment and driving away new state jobs. Banks said the card-check procedure exposes the individual worker’s vote – and increases the opportunity for coercion and intimidation.
“Secret-ballot elections are fundamental parts of American freedom that should extend to the workplace,” Banks added. “Measures with language similar to that in his legislation have passed in four other states recently: Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah. Secret ballot elections are fundamental parts of American freedom that should extend to the workplace.”