Just as many Hoosiers get used to the idea of not being forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment under Indiana’s new Right-to-Work law, according to a Circuit Court Judge, a suit filed by the United Steelworkers to strike down the new law can move forward.
Until earlier this year, Indiana workers who went to work at a unionized company could be forced to pay union dues and fees as a condition of employment—which meant, if they refused to pay union dues or fees, the union in their workplace could have them fired.
However, when the state’s legislature made Indiana the 23rd state in the nation to prohibit unions to force workers to pay dues as a condition of employment, knowing their incomes would dramatically drop, unions vowed to fight the change.
Almost immediately, Indiana unions sued to kill the Right-to-Work law, claiming that the freedom to choose to pay a union (as opposed to being forced) was “akin to slavery.”
Now, that suit is moving forward.
According to a press release issued by the United Steelworkers:
Lake County, Indiana, Circuit Court Judge George Paras ruled on Tuesday that the United Steelworkers USW legal challenge to Indiana’s new anti-union “right-to-work” law can go forward.
The USW filed a lawsuit arguing that the law, which requires unions to represent workers who are receiving the benefits of union membership without contributing to the costs, is a violation of Article 1, Section 21, of the state constitution. That clause states: “No persons particular services shall be demanded, without just compensation.”
In denying the states motion to dismiss the challenge, Judge Paras wrote that “it cannot categorically be said at this time” that the law does not violate the Indiana Constitution. The decision means that the case may proceed to a full hearing on the merits of the unions argument that the “right-to-work” law, signed into law in February, should be struck down.
Jim Robinson, Director of USW District 7, which includes the state of Indiana, noted, “We are pleased by this decision and look forward to seeing this unjust law, which is bad for Hoosier workers and does not represent our Midwestern value of accepting personal responsibility, be struck down by the courts.”
Just as easily Indiana’s workers were given the freedom to choose to pay union dues or not, if the unions’ lawsuit is successful, Hoosiers may once again be forced to pay dues to unions in order to keep their jobs
Related: Indiana’s Right-to-Work Law: Frequently Asked Questions
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Cross-posted on LaborUnionReport.com