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Indiana Right-to-Work-A Man-to-Death-Law, 1958

[ 13 ] January 11, 2012 |

By chance, I came across this article in the October 22, 1958 edition of the International Woodworker:

The following item is for the attention of those who claim that organized labor is wrong when it says that so-called “right to work” laws are aimed at weakening unions and destroying labor standards.

It concerns a letter from a housewife to the editor of the Indianapolis Star in the “right-to-work” state of Indiana. The letter was written by Mrs. Patricia Bolen of Nashville, Ind., wife of a carpenter. Mrs. Bolen wrote:

“I pooh-poohed when the right-to-work was first called a mankiiller. But it is. The man I love is being killed by it. He is a carpenter, strong, capable, hard-working, able to do three men’s work, which he does. Thereby, he keeps his job, luckier than most carpenters these days.

“He retains his job by doing man-killing work, but the rest of the crew is fired each Friday. A fresh group is brought in on Monday. There is no longer a union steward whose job it used to be to see that the company provided fresh drinking water, toilet facilities, a place to change and keep dry clothes, safety precautions, etc.

“My man comes home each day thirsty, soaking wet and heartsick because eager, hard-working family men on the job are being laid off when they can’t double or triple their output. This is not an isolated case.

“I am a school teacher. I address this to other teachers, office workers, business people, and others who know first hand what the “Handley law” really is–a right-to-work-a-man-to-death law. I plead for its repeal.”

By Handley, Mrs. Bolen referred to Republican Governor Harold Handley, who, after telling labor leaders he would veto a so-called “right-to-work” law if passed, flipflopped and let it become a law.

Today, Indiana workers are again facing a right-to-work-a-man-to-death law. It’s time we paid more attention to this attack upon working people.

Comments (13)

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  1. DrDick says:

    That is the “right to work a man to death for lower wages” bill.

  2. Sev says:

    ” the crew is fired each Friday.”

    Can see where Willard gets it from. Three names and the right to terminate the help on two minutes notice. Now, what are our plans for the weekend?

  3. Linnaeus says:

    Well, the woman who wrote this letter identifies herself as a school teacher, so of course she’s a commie who would be against the “freedom” of a right-to-work law.

    • OneForAll! says:

      “Well, the woman who wrote this letter identifies herself as a school teacher, so of course she’s a commie who would be against the “freedom” of a right-to-work law.”If that’s not a right wing self centered comment what is?? For your information there were very few if any teachers organized in 1958. This woman was writing what she felt in her heart and what she saw on a daily basis.

      RTW has one purpose and only one purpose. To weaken and eventually destroy the power of collective bargaining. People take the word “Union” and think it is a nasty word. When what it really is is a way for people to use their collective power to thwart or at least leverage the power of the almighty employer.

      I am union proud and will go to my grave that way.

      Idiots lilke Linnaeus make my blood boil.

  4. Tejanarusa says:

    Well, besides the obvious, this explains a lot. I’ve been wondering during the coverage of the current campaign to make IN a rtw state…I thought it was a right-to-work state!

    Oh, now I get it…it was when I lived there, 1956-70. 75-76. Now what I’m wondering is how the heck they ever got it repealed. That must be a pretty good story.

  5. MPAVictoria says:

    God I hate these bastards.

  6. Theresa Phillips says:

    Marty Wolfson, Associate Professor of Economics and Director of Notre Dame’s Higgins Labor Studies Program has comments on RTW. Prior to his appointment at Notre Dame, he was an economist at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. Bad things happen when good people do nothing. For FACTS, click on Higgins Labor Studies Program.

    http://newsinfo.nd.edu/news/28233-notre-dame-expert-right-to-work-lowers-wages/

  7. [...] Loomis highlights a letter from the last time Indiana passed what the letter-writer called “a right-to-work-a-man-to-death law.” This time around, NFL players with Indiana ties are lobbying state legislators to vote against the [...]

  8. [...] Loomis highlights a letter from the last time Indiana passed what the letter-writer called “a right-to-work-a-man-to-death law.” This time around, NFL players with Indiana ties are lobbying state legislators to vote against the [...]

  9. [...] Loomis highlights a letter from the last time Indiana passed what the letter-writer called “a right-to-work-a-man-to-death law.” This time around, NFL players with Indiana ties are lobbying state legislators to vote against the [...]

  10. [...] I like “the right to work a man to death” better because it was generated by workers themselves, calling right to work “the most [...]

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