An Indiana judge has declared the state’s “right-to-work” law unconstitutional, echoing what organized labor has been saying since the harmful legislation began sweeping across state legislatures throughout the country.
Lake Superior Court Civil Division Judge John Sedia ruled that preventing the union from collecting bargaining-related dues or fees from non-union members, who federal law requires the union provide representation services for, violates the Indiana constitution.
“Put simply,” Sedia wrote, “it becomes a criminal offense for a union to receive just compensation for particular services federal law demands it provide to employees.”
Indiana’s GOP-majority state legislature passed its right-to-work statute in 2012, joining 24 states with similar laws.
Right-to-work laws allow employees to benefit from collective bargaining agreements without the shared sacrifice of paying dues, weakening the unions that represent them. Eleven of the 15 states with the highest poverty rates are right-to-work, while 11 of the 13 states with the lowest percentage of people without health care are worker-friendly.
The decision is subject to a mandatory review by the Indiana Supreme Court. The state’s right-to-work law will remain in effect while it is being appealed.