INDIANAPOLIS – Following Gov. Mitch Daniels’ Republican response to the State of the Union address, Indiana AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott issued the following statement:
“The irony surrounding Gov. Daniels’ response to President Obama’s State of the Union Speech is seemingly endless. While the governor seemed unaware of the problems the president addressed in his speech, it almost seemed as if Gov. Daniels was talking about a completely different country, one with a completely different set of economic and social circumstances than the one we all actually live in.
"Growing income disparity, the growing gap between rich and poor, seems to be a reality lost on this governor." - Nancy Guyott, AFL-CIO"Growing income disparity, the growing gap between rich and poor, seems to be a reality lost on this governor. Indeed, his push for a so-called 'right to work' bill here in Indiana confirms that he is oblivious to this pressing problem. He is pushing this bill that would inevitably reduce wages and job security for working class Hoosiers while he supports more tax breaks for the wealthy. He is not only ignorant of the problem of income inequality, he seeks to exacerbate it and brazenly claim that it is best for Indiana’s economy.
"Another cruel irony about the governor’s response is the timing. In less than two weeks, Indianapolis will host Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium, which was 100 percent built using union labor. Ironworkers, electricians, bricklayers, plumbers, laborers and carpenters all put their blood, sweat and tears into that magnificent building that has afforded Indianapolis this once-in-a-generation opportunity to showcase this wonderful city and state and all the people that live here. Unfortunately, as the governor touts this opportunity, he is leading an attack on the very workers that built the stadium and made it all possible.
"Finally, there is a profound irony that national Republicans would choose Gov. Daniels to deliver this response, given his track record of flip-flopping and double crossing Hoosiers. In 2006 he promised a labor convention that he saw no reason to change Indiana’s labor laws and specifically ruled out pushing any “right to work” law. Fast forward to 2012, where in the last year of his administration, Gov. Daniels has decided to go after workers in the exact way he promised he wouldn’t, by robbing them of their collective bargaining rights.
"The secrecy and haste with which the governor has pursued his extreme agenda is equally troubling. Because he has refused to disclose the donors that have financed the television ad campaign to support his efforts, we have no idea for whom he speaks, but we do know he no longer speaks for middle class Hoosiers and all that we stand for.
"President Obama laid out a balanced vision for how to improve our national economy and move this country forward. In his role as his party’s spokesman to offer a different vision for the country, the governor does indeed offer a contrast. He offers disparity instead of equality. He offers oppression over liberty. He favors political opportunism instead of investing in America’s strength. He favors nameless donors over countless workers who have been demanding fairness. And he offers rhetoric that does not match the reality of his record.”
For more information
Indiana AFL-CIO, 800.433.8423