Four days before his state hosts Super Bowl XLVI, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) signed anti-union “right-to-work” legislation into law Wednesday afternoon, making Indiana the 23rd right-to-work state in the country. Daniels signed the law despite the fact that thousands of workers gathered outside the statehouse in the days leading up to the law’s passage, and despite his own apparent opposition to such a law back in 2006.
In the days since more than 10,000 protesters marched through downtown Indianapolis, union officials and other organizers have grappled with how, and if, they should make their voices heard during Super Bowl festivities. Daniels has warned opponents of the new law that disrupting the Super Bowl would give the state a “black eye.” Nevertheless, with the National Football League’s Players Association officially opposing the law, labor leaders and organizers affiliated with local Occupy groups have vowed to press on.
“If it does pass, we’ll use this, the world stage that is the Super Bowl, to spread the message that Indiana is an inhospitable place for working men and women,” Jeff Harris, Communications and Outreach Coordinator for the Indiana AFL-CIO, told ThinkProgress before the law passed. “And that the very people that built the stadium in which the Super Bowl is going to be played and the very people who built the city that is enjoying the limelight — the very people who made this possible — are being disrespected.”
Protesters march through Super Bowl Village in Indianapolis