Union membership and dues payments in the Hoosier State are finally voluntary
Noblesville, IN (July 16, 2012) – Robert Symonds, a local trucker, has just become one of the first Indiana citizens to exercise his right to stop paying union dues under the new Indiana Right to Work law. Symonds received free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys while he was attempting to cut off further dues payments.
On May 17, 2012, the contract between Teamsters Local 135 and Symonds’ employer, Indianapolis Haulage, expired and a new contract was agreed to. Under Indiana’s Right to Work law, contracts entered into after the law went into effect on March 15, 2012 must respect employees’ rights to refrain from the payment of any union dues. Despite the fact that Symonds resigned his union membership and revoked his dues check-off, Teamster officials told him he wouldn’t be able to stop paying dues until November 2012.
Upon the advice of a Right to Work Foundation attorney, Symonds responded to this obstructionist tactic by sending a letter to his employer, requesting it comply with Indiana law and immediately stop deducting dues from his paychecks. On June 29, Teamster officials sent Symonds a letter indicating they would back down and honor his request to immediately stop deducting union dues.
Symonds’ experience reflects an opportunity thousands of Indiana workers will have in the coming months. Under Indiana’s Right to Work law, forced-dues contracts between unions and employers entered into prior to the legislation’s effective date are still in place throughout the state. As these contracts expire, Indiana workers who were forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment will now have the option to refrain from paying any dues at all.
“We’re happy to report that Robert Symonds has successfully stopped paying dues to a union he no longer belongs to,” said Patrick Semmens, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “You shouldn’t have to pay union dues to get or keep a job, which is why Indiana’s new Right to Work law is right for Hoosiers everywhere.”