Inside INdiana Business reports today the battle over the state’s right to work law is headed to the Indiana Supreme Court.
Lake County Superior Court Judge John Sedia ruled the law violates the state constitution. Sedia ruled the law violates the section of the state constitution that does not allow services “without just compensation.”
A key aspect of the law calls on unions to represent workers even if they opt out of paying dues.
You can view the decision by clicking HERE.
The challenge was launched by the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, which is headquartered in Illinois and has Indiana offices in Lakeville and Merrillville.
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General says the status quo will remain in effect as the case is being appealed. Bryan Corbin, public information officer for the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, said in a statement, “The state will take an immediate appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court of this declaratory judgment, which we contend is incorrect, in light of the fact the same court granted the state’s motion to dismiss on four other counts. The Indiana Attorney General’s Office will aggressively defend the authority of the people’s elected representatives in the Legislature as we successfully defended this same statute from the same plaintiff who challenged it in federal court.”
The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 claimed that the law was a violation of Article 1, Section 21 of Indiana’s Constitution which states that, “No person’s particular services shall be demanded, without just compensation.” Local 150 argued that Indiana’s right to work law is unconstitutional because it makes it illegal for unions to collect fees for services that they are federally required to provide.
In his decision, Judge Sedia said that under Indiana’s right to work law, “it becomes a criminal offense for a union to receive just compensation for particular services federal law demands it provide to employees.” Judge Sedia concluded that, “the court therefore has no choice but to find that [the laws] violate Article 1, Section 21 of the Indiana Constitution.”
“This is a huge victory for the middle class,” said Local 150 president-business manager James M. Sweeney. “These laws are nothing but thinly-veiled tools to weaken unions, and this is a big win for workers who rely on unions to provide decent wages and benefits. We pledged on the day that this law was passed that they hadn’t seen the last of us, and we are delighted with this ruling.”
Indiana Supreme Court rule 4(a)(1)(b) gives exclusive jurisdiction to the Supreme Court for appeals for final judgments declaring a state statute in whole or in part unconstitutional. The judgment is subject to mandatory review within 30 days.