The state Senate voted 28-22 to pass the labor union bill as thousands of protesters packed Statehouse hallways, shouting their disapproval. Thousands more were outside waiting to get in.
Gov. Mitch Daniels signed the bill shortly thereafter without ceremony, making Indiana the 23rd state in the nation with such a law. Indiana also is the first state in the « Rust Belt » of the Midwest and Northeast to adopt the measure.
Under right-to-work laws, companies can no longer negotiate a contract with a union that requires non-members to pay fees for representation. The House earlier passed the measure 54-44.
Daniels and other Republican supporters characterized the measure as needed for Indiana to attract jobs.
« Indiana will improve still further its recently earned reputation as one of America’s best places to do business, and we will see more jobs and opportunity for our young people and for all those looking for a better life, » the governor said in a statement released by his office.