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.
Both Richards and Brubaker are or were employed in workplaces where a forced dues contract was in place between their employers and the USW union before the Right to Work law was enacted. Consequently, both workers have been forced to pay USW union dues and fees just to keep their jobs, despite the fact neither belonged to the union nor sought the union’s so-called "representation."
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’ 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.
Last month, two additional workers filed a similar brief rebutting a union-backed legal challenge brought by International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 150 officials. That suit is pending at the Indiana Supreme Court.
"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 these workers for standing up for their rights under Indiana’s Right to Work law."