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.
Both Huffman and Miller are employed in workplaces where a forced dues contract was in place between their employers and union hierarchies before the Right to Work law was enacted. Consequently, both workers have been forced to pay union dues just to keep their jobs, despite the fact neither belongs to the union nor sought the union's so-called "representation."
Although Indiana's Right to Work law states that no employee can be required to pay union dues as a condition of employment, forced dues contracts between unions and employers entered into prior to the law's effective date remain in force throughout the state.
In the brief, Foundation staff attorneys point out that state Right to Work laws are protected under federal labor law. The workers also argue in their brief that the state's Right to Work law protects workers' right human and civil rights to earn a living without being forced to join or financially support a private organization. The brief also lays out how every contested state Right to Work law has been upheld as constitutional.
"Hoosier citizens want to make their voices heard against a frivolous union legal challenge to Indiana's Right to Work law," said Patrick Semmens, legal information director for the National Right to Work Foundation. "Workers shouldn't be forced to join or pay tribute to a union just to keep a job, which is why we applaud Julie Huffman and Michael Miller for standing up for their rights in the state's supreme court."