By John W. Woodard, Jr.
Indiana’s new business-friendly right-to-work law is being challenged in federal Court. Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers has filed suit seeking to enjoin enforcement of the law claiming that it is both unconstitutional and pre-empted by federal labor law. A Motion for Temporary Restraining Order is currently set for hearing on March 5, 2012, in the U.S. District Court at Hammond, Indiana. The Union’s affidavit in support of its motion asserts, among other things, that “the ability to cease paying dues completely may prove too attractive for some of our members to resist.”
Right-to-work laws prohibit provisions in union contracts which force non-member employees in unionized workplaces to pay “fair share” fees for a union’s collective bargaining efforts and representation. Indiana is the 23rd state to adopt business-friendly right-to-work legislation, and it is the first state to have done so since Oklahoma in 2001.