Indiana's Right-to-Work Law Unconstitutional: Judge
But Republicans think state Supreme Court will overturn ruling
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2013 1:19 PM CDT
Union workers protest through the Super Bowl Village following a right-to-work vote by legislatures at the Statehouse Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012, in Indianapolis.   (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

(Newser) – The latest in the contentious battle over Indiana's right-to-work law: A judge has ruled the law unconstitutional, and the state attorney general's office says it will appeal directly to the Indiana Supreme Court, the Indianapolis Star reports. Last year, Indiana became the 23rd US state to ban mandatory labor union fees, after two years of debate during which Democratic lawmakers dramatically fled across state lines and skipped floor sessions in an effort to delay the bill, and thousands of union workers protested.

Union lawyers filed this lawsuit in an effort to overturn the law, but Republican lawmakers say they purposely filed the suit in a labor-friendly county to ensure a victory. "This is not unex­pected in Lake ­County," says Rep. Jerry Torr, who thinks the Supreme Court will overturn the ruling. "I am confident that this ­decision won’t stand." The Lake Superior Court judge says the right-to-work law violates a section of the state constitution that says services cannot be delivered "without just compensation," because it forces unions to represent non-paying workers. But Republicans say that provision only applies to individuals, not unions, and legal experts tend to agree.

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Showing 3 of 189 comments
1freeusa
Sep 15, 2013 9:36 AM CDT
If the law allows corporations the same rights as people, (except criminal prosecution or execution) then Unions should be afforded the same rights.
Smitty6398
Sep 11, 2013 12:18 AM CDT
I was a forced Union Member at my 1st REAL job. Boeing Aircraft in Seattle & Renton . In the 1960s. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers literally sold the members out over a nationwide contract. Some of the 40,000+ members in the Seattle area burned down the Union Hall and ran several of the Local's Presidents out of town, leaving several of the other leaders in medical care. Cooler heads finally prevailed; and the rank & file went back to work, but most NEVER attended another meeting. At the end of the 3yr contract, the rank and file elected the United Auto Workers to represent them. I also had a run-in with the IAMAW again, several years later, because I refused to join. It was a RTW state and I recounted my previous experience to the men I worked with prior to the vote. After 2 years of harassment, I found a better job. The last company I worked for (12 years) was a major vendor to Hostess, and International Bakery Co. (their predecessor). My very first job there was to cleanup and tear down some machines they were having rebuilt. Machine that were being rebuilt were 30 to 40 years old. Minor upgrading improved their performance some, but we were also building machines for their competitors which would out perform these rebuilds, AND, more importantly, reduce labor costs by 1/2 to 2/3, or more. Imagine going from 6 machines with 6 workers each; to 6 machines with a total of 4 workers; what the competition was doing. Don't feel sorry for the Hostess workers, they did it to themselves. Nothing should be more important to the worker than the profitability of the Company. That job is what provides the necessities of life for the family, shelter, clothing, food, education. I guess some people really believe in Unionism; I, for one, do not.
HMD-SMD-ITY
Sep 10, 2013 11:16 PM CDT
Oklahoma's version passed court scrutiny and the unions are bittersweet about it. It allows unionization in parallel with independent employment at the same shop. You can join the union if you wish, but also can go it alone if you want to do that. In true union shops such as Tinker Air Force Base, UPS, Yellow Freight, or former GMAD, you could be a non-union worker. But it is not such a good thing to do because the law does not say you get the same benefits. In the long run, you are on the outside and you can never be considered one of the regulars. So these people are usually the temp employees at these organizations. UPS uses as many of them as they can especially in the coming months. But you get a year as a temp and then its join the union.