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Lake County judge hears motion in right-to-work law case

Updated: November 11, 2012 6:21AM



CROWN POINT — Lake Circuit Court Judge George Paras is considering a motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Indiana’s right-to-work law.

The lawsuit was filed by the United Steelworkers and several local union leaders in March against Gov. Mitch Daniels, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Lori Torres, the commissioner of the Indiana Department of Labor. The complaint argues that the law violates Article 1, Section 21 of the state constitution, which reads, “No person’s particular services shall be demanded, without just compensation.”

At the end of the hearing, Paras indicated he will rule on the matter in 30 days.

Kenneth Joel, who represented the state, said the state constitution was written prior to the concept of labor unions, therefore the court should not construe a union as a person. Joel also argued that Gov. Daniels should be removed as a defendant in the suit due to existing case law.

Jeff Macey, who represents the USW, argued that the law forces unions to provide particular services without payment from nonmembers.

USW District 7 Director Jim Robinson said the law encourages the tendency of a few people to freeload off their fellow workers by taking advantage of the benefits of collective bargaining while not contributing their fair share of the costs.



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