Indiana 

Indiana Workers File Brief in Support of State's Right to Work Law

News Release

Indiana Workers File Brief in Support of State's Right to Work Law

Hoosier citizens contest spurious union legal challenge

Crown Point, IN (January 14, 2014) – Two Indiana citizens have submitted an amicus curiae brief to defend Indiana's Right to Work law from a union legal challenge pending in state court.

The two workers, Douglas Richards and David Brubaker, filed the brief with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys. The brief was filed together with the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center.

The case is a lawsuit filed by the United Steelworker (USW) union that makes a number of dubious claims about Indiana's recently-enacted Right to Work law, including the argument that unions have a right to force workers to pay for their unwanted services.

Click here to read the full release.

Indiana Workers File Brief in Support of State's Right to Work Law

News Release

Indiana Workers File Brief in Support of State's Right to Work Law

Hoosier citizens contest spurious union legal challenge

Indianapolis, IN (December 20, 2013) – Two Indiana citizens, Julie Huffman and Michael Miller, have submitted an amicus curiae brief to defend Indiana's Right to Work law from a union legal challenge now before the Indiana Supreme Court.

Huffman and Miller filed the brief with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys. The brief was filed together with the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center.

The case is a lawsuit filed by International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 150 officials that makes a number of dubious claims about Indiana's recently-enacted Right to Work law, including the argument that unions have a right to force workers to pay for their unwanted services.

Click here to read the full release.

Indiana Regional Medical Center Nurse Files Federal Charges Against Union and Hospital

News Release

Indiana Regional Medical Center Nurse Files Federal Charges Against Union and Hospital

Union officials threaten worker to join union or lose her job

Indiana, PA (December 4, 2013) – An Indiana Regional Medical Center nurse has filed a federal unfair labor practice charge against her employer and a local nurse union for violating her rights.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Joanna Smith of Clymer filed the charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Starting in August 2003, Smith worked as a per diem float nurse, a position subject to the representation of the Indiana Registered Nurses Association (IRNA) Local 5120 union hierarchy. In June 2011, Smith was moved to a patient advocate position, which was not under the union monopoly bargaining control. Then, in November 2012, Smith returned to a float nurse position.

In her charge against the union, Smith alleges that in September 2013, an IRNA Local 5120 union official illegally demanded that she join the union as a condition of her employment.

Click here to read the full release.

Local Unions Attempt to Circumvent Indiana’s Right to Work Law

News Release

Local Unions Attempt to Circumvent Indiana’s Right to Work Law

Union officials game system to collect union dues and fees despite Indiana’s popular Right to Work law

Indianapolis, IN (June 14, 2013) – In separate cases, two Indianapolis-area workers have filed charges against two local unions for violating their rights to refrain from union dues payments.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, the two workers filed federal unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

In one case, Indianapolis AT&T (NYSE: T) worker Joshua Sterrett resigned membership in the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 4900 union on January 21, 2013. Even though CWA Local 4900 union officials acknowledged Sterrett's union membership resignation on January 30, Sterrett alleges that union officials failed to tell him how he could timely revoke his dues deductions. As a result, he is forced to pay union fees for an additional year.

Click here to read the full release.

Teamster Union Faces Charges for Papering Over Indy Domtar Workers' Rights

News Release

Teamster Union Faces Charges for Papering Over Indy Domtar Workers' Rights

Union and company officials ignore Indiana's Right to Work law

Indianapolis, IN (May 15, 2013) – Six Indianapolis-area Domtar Paper Company (NYSE: UFS) workers have filed federal charges against a local Teamster union and the company for violating their right to refrain from dues-paying union membership.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Broatus Lambert, Lawrence Langworth, Christopher McKay, Kenneth Rosenfeld, Kevin Schrader, and William Schwier filed the unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The six workers all exercised their right under Indiana's recently-enacted Right to Work law to refrain from membership and dues payments in the Teamster union-affiliated Graphic Communications International (GCI) Union, Local 17M. Under Indiana's Right to Work law, no worker can be required to pay union dues as a condition of employment.

Click here to read the full release.

FOUNDATION ACTION: Foundation Forms Task Force to Defend Michigan Right to Work Law

NOTE: This article is from the last issue of Foundation Action, our bi-monthly newsletter. You can sign up to receive a print edition of the newsletter here.


Foundation Forms Task Force to Defend Michigan Right to Work Law
Union officials plan to challenge law making union membership and dues payments voluntary
SPRINGFIELD, VA -– In December 2012, Michigan stunned political prognosticators by becoming the nation’s 24th state to pass Right to Work protections for its workers. And

as Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed private sector and public sector Right to Work legislation into law, union officials and others had already announced their plans to file frivolous lawsuits designed to delay implementation of and hamstring the legislation in court.

Responding to these tactics, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation immediately announced the creation of a special task force to defend Michigan’s newly-enacted Right to Work law.

“"Michigan’'s new Right to Work laws are a great advance for worker freedom, but union bosses won’t give up their special privileges without a fight,"” said Ray LaJeunesse, Vice President and Legal Director of the National Right to Work Foundation. "“Big Labor is already planning a vicious legal counterattack in state and federal court, which is why we need to be ready.”"

Just as Foundation Action went to press, to preempt union lawyers from getting an injunction from a friendly state court judge, Governor Snyder asked Michigan’s Supreme Court to render an advisory opinion on the constitutionality of the state’s new Right to Work laws. Foundation attorneys are preparing to file an amicus brief in that case for Michigan workers supporting the laws’ constitutionality.


Foundation attorneys ready to defend Right to Work

Fortunately for Michigan workers, Foundation attorneys have successfully defended several state Right to Work laws in the past.

Shortly after Indiana became the nation’s 23rd Right to Work state, United Steel Worker (USW) union bosses filed a lawsuit challenging the bill’s legality in state court.

Right to Work attorneys quickly responded by filing a brief opposing the union’s lawsuit for two workers who are employed at facilities unionized by USW operatives and are forced to pay union dues just to keep their jobs. Foundation attorneys attended oral argument on a motion to dismiss on October 16 and sent local counsel to a hearing in late January.


Cases highlight success of Foundation legal program

Moreover, Foundation attorneys defended Wisconsin’s recently-enacted public sector union reforms (including Right to Work protections for most Wisconsin public employees) in a federal appeals court (see page 3 of this issue of Foundation Action) for three Wisconsin civil servants. Foundation attorneys are also assisting three other Wisconsin public employees defending the reforms in two other cases, one pending in federal court, and another at the state’s appeals court.

Recent public polling reveals that a majority of Michiganders support the new Right to Work laws. Despite losing in the court of public opinion, Michigan union bosses are undeterred. Big Labor is predictably turning to the court system to delay or even roll back the state’s popular Right to Work laws in an effort to reclaim their force-dues powers.

"“Despite union lawyers’' attempts to strike down Right to Work laws wherever they are passed, their track record against our experienced Right to Work staff attorneys is far from stellar,”" explained LaJeunesse. “"But union bosses know all it takes is one friendly judge to temporarily block any restraint on their special government-granted power to compel workers to pay dues as a condition of employment."
”

"“That is why Foundation attorneys are are already preparing to defend Michigan’s new Right to Work laws from any frivolous union boss legal challenges,"” added LaJeunesse. “"Thanks to Foundation cases expanding worker freedom in state and federal court -- including numerous Supreme Court wins -- we’re confident of victory.”"

FOUNDATION ACTION: Indiana and Wisconsin Right to Work Protections Upheld in Federal Court

NOTE: This article is from the upcoming issue of Foundation Action, our bi-monthly newsletter. You can sign up to receive a print edition of the newsletter here.


Indiana and Wisconsin Right to Work Protections Upheld in Federal Court

Foundation attorneys help thwart bogus union legal challenges to recent labor reforms  

Wisconsin teacher Kristi Lacroix successfully defended Wisconsin’s public sector Right to Work law with the help of Foundation staff attorneys. SPRINGFIELD, VA - In the span of two days, Foundation attorneys scored resounding victories defending Indiana’s newly-enacted Right to Work law and Wisconsin’s 2010 public sector Right to Work law in two federal courts.

The legal victories both highlight the need and the success of the Foundation’s litigation program.

Indiana union bosses soundly defeated in court

A United States District Court Judge dismissed a federal lawsuit challenging Indiana’s Right to Work law filed by International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 150 lawyers. IUOE Local 150, headquartered in suburban Chicago, filed the lawsuit to undo what thousands of Hoosier citizens worked hard to achieve through the legislative process immediately after the law was enacted last February.

Unfortunately for the IUOE, the constitutionality of state Right to Work laws has long been a settled question. And National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, representing four Indiana workers who support the Right to Work law, advised lawyers for the State of Indiana about arguments that were made to defend the law in court.

The four Hoosier citizens who opposed the union’s legal challenge were David Bercot, a certified wastewater operator for the ITR Concession Company in Fort Wayne; Joel Tibbetts, a Minteq International assistant manager in Valparaiso; Douglas Richards, an employee with the Goshen-based Cequent Towing Products; and Larry Getts, a Dana Holding Corporation technician in Albion.

Judge Philip Simon dismissed all of the union lawyers’ claims. He did not rule on arguments contesting the law on the grounds that it violates Indiana’s constitution, leaving that to state courts to decide. A United Steel Workers legal challenge based on state laws is still proceeding in Indiana state court, where two other Foundation-assisted employees have filed a brief arguing that the law is consistent with their state’s constitution.

“We’re happy to report that the judge rejected IUOE union bosses’ frivolous arguments and ensured that millions of Indianans will continue to work free from union coercion,” said Patrick Semmens, Vice President of National Right to Work.

Wisconsin public sector Right to Work law stands

A day after the Indiana victory, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit based in Chicago upheld all of Governor Scott Walker’s public sector unionism reform measures, also known as “Act 10.”

The court rejected union lawyers’ attempts to strike down the law’s annual union recertification requirements, ban on the use of taxpayer funded-payroll systems to collect union dues, new limits on the scope of what union officials can demand in contract negotiations, and a provision that granted most of Wisconsin’s public employees Right to Work protections.

With free legal assistance from Foundation and Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty attorneys, three Wisconsin public employees moved to intervene in the lawsuit in favor of the law after lawyers from seven unions, led by the Wisconsin Education Association Council, challenged it in federal court.

The three civil servants -- Kenosha teacher Kristi Lacroix, Waukesha high school teacher Nathan Berish, and trust fund specialist at the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds Ricardo Cruz -- were permitted to file amicus briefs in the district court and their Foundation attorney was allowed to argue on the merits of the law before the appeals court during a hearing.

“The appellate court upheld all of ‘Act 10’ as constitutional by relying on principles established in Foundation-supported Supreme Court victories. Those cases hold that union bosses have no constitutional power to force workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. Unions also don’t have a constitutional right to use government resources to deduct union dues or fees from workers’ paychecks,” said Semmens.

“The court’s decision strikes a mighty blow for individual workers who do not want anything to do with an unwanted union in their workplace. The text of the decision makes it clear that legal arguments presented by Foundation staff attorneys were critical to the ruling.”

Union Discriminates Against Local AT&T Worker for Exercising His Right to Work

News Release

Union Discriminates Against Local AT&T Worker for Exercising His Right to Work

Union officials make an example of nonmember to discourage other workers from exercising their rights under Indiana’s Right to Work law

Indianapolis, IN (February 12, 2013) – A local AT&T worker has filed a federal unfair labor practice charge against a local union for discriminating against him for exercising his rights under Indiana's new Right to Work law.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Indianapolis AT&T worker James Dawson filed the charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in Indianapolis.

In August 2012, Dawson resigned from membership in and exercised his right to refrain from paying dues to the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 4900 union. Under Indiana's Right to Work law, which was enacted in early 2012, Dawson and other private sector workers have the right to refrain from union membership and dues payments. However, a worker who exercises their rights under the state's Right to Work law may still be forced to accept an unwanted union's representation.

Click here to read the full release.

Ready-Mix Concrete Worker Seeks to Break Free of Teamster Union Dues Scheme

News Release

Ready-Mix Concrete Worker Seeks to Break Free of Teamster Union Dues Scheme

Teamsters refuse to follow federal disclosure requirements

Goshen, IN (August 15, 2012) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, an Eagle Ready Mix concrete worker has filed a federal charge against a local Teamster union for violating his rights.

Edward Chupp of Goshen filed the charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) earlier this month.

Chauffeurs, Teamsters and Helpers Local 364 union officials never informed workers of their rights, including their right to refrain from full-dues-paying union membership as upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Foundation-won Communications Workers v. Beck case.

Click here to read the full release.

Worker Slaps Construction Union Bosses with Federal Charge for Job Discrimination

News Release

Worker Slaps Construction Union Bosses with Federal Charge for Job Discrimination

Electrical worker union officials obstruct worker from getting work

Chicago, IL (July 19, 2012) – With the help of National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a nonunion Chicago-area construction worker has filed a federal charge against the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and two of its local affiliate unions for discriminating against him on account of his union membership status.

Construction worker John Lugo filed the charge against the IBEW Local 697 and IBEW Local 601 unions with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Monday.

Because IBEW union bosses claim monopoly bargaining privileges over all the workers in his workplaces, Lugo, who refrains from formal union membership, is still forced to accept union officials' so-called "representation" and go through the union's hiring halls to find employment.

Federal labor law provides that union bosses must "fairly represent" workers, including those who have exercised their right to refrain from union membership, if union bosses claim exclusive representational powers over the workers.

Click here to read the full release.


Terms of Web Site Use      Related Links: National Right to Work Committee | National Institute for Labor Relations Research

Copyright © 2010 National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation
 National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation, Inc.
8001 Braddock Road / Springfield, Virginia 22160
(703) 321-8510 | (800) 336-3600 / (703) 321-9613 fax - general (703) 321-9319 fax - legal department