News Release

Union Officials Challenging Indiana Right to Work Law Forced to Settle Union Dues Case

Refund of twelve hundred dollars highlights why Indiana needed Right to Work law that ends union boss forced dues powers

Indianapolis, IN (March 9, 2012) – The union headquartered in suburban Chicago, Illinois challenging Indiana's newly-enacted Right to Work law in federal court has been forced to refund money illegally taken from workers' paychecks as part of a settlement.

The National Right to Work Foundation provided free legal assistance to Valparaiso-area Minteq International employees Joel Tibbetts and Adam Hill in the prolonged legal battle dating back to 2007.

The Minteq employees' workplace is unionized by the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 150 union hierarchy. Both workers have refrained from union membership but still must accept IUOE Local 150 union officials' so-called "representation" and are required to pay dues to the union to keep their jobs, until their current contract expires, after which they will be freed from that requirement by Indiana's new Right to Work law.

Tibbetts and Hill filed federal charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 25 in Indianapolis in September 2007 and again in June 2009 because Local 150 union officials refused to recognize their right to refrain from full-dues-paying union membership.

Facing NLRB prosecution, Local 150 union officials settled in 2008 and 2011. Despite the settlements, union officials continued to illegally force the workers to pay excessive union dues. Moreover, the union hierarchy continued to illegally force the workers to object annually to paying full dues.

The latest settlement reimburses the two workers $1,268. It also requires union officials to post notices about the workers' rights in the workplace and at the union office in Merrillville.

Meanwhile, in response to IUOE Local 150 union bosses' recent federal lawsuit against Indiana's popular Right to Work law, Tibbetts joined a group of Indiana workers from across the state to file an amicus brief in support of their newly-enacted Right to Work freedoms.

"IUOE Local 150 union bosses have been long waging a campaign against Indiana's workers, even before their frivolous federal lawsuit against Indiana's popular Right to Work law," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "A Right to Work law undermines the IUOE Local 150 union bosses' agenda to take workers' hard-earned money from their paychecks at all costs."

Indiana is the nation's 23rd Right to Work state. Public polling shows that nearly 80 percent of Americans support the Right to Work principle, including 80 percent of union members.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

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