Indiana’s ‘right to work’ law headed to state Supreme Court

The future of a controversial Indiana “right to work” law (dubbed “right to work for less” by opponents) is now in the hands of the state’s Supreme Court. According to The Indianapolis Star, oral arguments were set to begin in early September. The 2012 law has been ruled unconstitutional by two lower-court state judges. In contrast, it survived a legal challenge in federal court.
Indiana is one of 24 U.S. states (including Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota) that prohibits employer-union pacts in which individuals must become a member of a labor organization and pay dues to it. Two years ago, Indiana’s actions garnered national attention because they marked the first time that a state in the Great Lakes region (a traditional union stronghold) had adopted “right to work.”
The two lower-court judges ruled that the law conflicts with a part of the Indiana Constitution that reads: “No person’s particular services shall be demanded, without just compensation.” In the case of unions, those services include negotiating contracts and handling grievances that, under federal law, must be extended to all employees — whether or not they support the union. As a result, the judges ruled, requiring the payment of union dues ensures “just compensation” for those “particular services.”
Stateline Midwest ~ July/August 20141.21 MB