At the Indianapolis International Airport, CEO John Clark has announced his intention of revoking collective bargaining rights for airport employees. Make serious note here, that nothing happens at the airport without the full consent of Mayor Ballard, who appoints 6 of the 8 board members. IndyStar reporter Bruce Smith, reported on Thursday (Feb 17, 2011):
Jeff Withered, business agent for Operating Engineers Local 399, was blunt in saying negotiations ended abruptly after Clark became involved. He said that smacks of a betrayal of promises by Clark and the Indianapolis Airport Authority board to allow collective bargaining.
"John Clark stopped it and told us to go away for two years," Withered said.
Clark will ask the airport board Friday to begin steps to repeal the ordinance passed in December 2008 that granted collective bargaining rights for airport employees.
The board is expected to hold a hearing March 11 on an ordinance to repeal those collective bargaining rights.
At least three employee groups have shown interest in forming unions.
Airport Board meeting agendas can be obtained by visiting the Board's webpage and clicking on the calendar for board meetings in the upper right hand corner of the page. As of right now, no Board meeting has been added to the calendar for March 11, so keep checking.
Meanwhile the Republican-controlled State Legislature is pushing forward on a large number of bills, all of which hack at one key component after another, of workers rights to collective bargaining or union operations. They want to make collective bargaining illegal for all state workers. They want to prohibit union/government negotiated project labor agreements. They want to increase the size of a project wherein a common wage would have to be determined. They want to limit what can be part of the negotiated package for union contracts in educational institutions.
The idea that a group of American individuals should be legally prohibited from associating with one another and joining together to improve their work environment and pay, is in direct contradiction with the inalienable rights enunciated in our Declaration of Independence.
The real aim of all of these legislative efforts is not to make Indiana more competitive in attracting business. It is to bust the unions, and allow employers to do whatever they want in work conditions and wages. It is also, to reduce the ability of unions to lobby for better laws and to contribute money and manpower to Democratic candidates.
For much of this week, the Central Indiana Labor Council plans rallies at the Statehouse. The schedule is:
Monday, February 21 -- 9 am
Tuesday, February 22 -- 10 am
Wednesday, February 23 -- 10 am
Thursday, February 24 -- 10 am
The Central Indiana Jobs With Justice is focusing on the hearings on HR1468, the so-called 'right to work' bill. That hearing begins at 9 am, Monday, February 21, in room 156A in the basement of the Statehouse. If you cannot be there, even though Monday is a holiday (thanks to unions, by the way), you can watch live video feed from the Statehouse through the Legislature website, by clicking on the 'Watch Indiana General Assembly Live' button in the right hand corner of the home page.
Unions may represent a small fraction of workers in our State. But there can be no mistaking the positive influence of those contracts on the rest of us.