Judge gives green light to lawsuit challenging right-to-work
By Christin Nance Lazerus email@example.com October 18, 2012 6:56PM
Updated: November 20, 2012 11:08AM
Lake Circuit Court Judge George Paras agreed to let a lawsuit go forward that challenges the legality of Indiana’s right-to-work law.
The suit claims that the law violates the state constitution by requiring unions to represent workers who are receiving union benefits without contributing to the costs. Article 1, Section 21, of the Indiana constitution reads, “No person’s particular services shall be demanded, without just compensation.” Along with the United Steelworkers, USW District 7 President Jim Robinson and five local union presidents are plaintiffs in the suit.
In denying the state’s motion, Judge Paras wrote that “it cannot categorically be said at this time” that the law does not violate the Indiana Constitution. Paras did agree to remove Gov. Mitch Daniels as a defendant in the lawsuit. The remaining defendants are Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Lori Torres, the commissioner of the Indiana Department of Labor.
The right-to-work law was signed into law in February, and a month later, this lawsuit was filed. The state filed a motion to dismiss the suit in June, and Paras heard arguments at an Oct. 9 hearing.
In a statement, Robinson said, “We are pleased by this decision and look forward to seeing this unjust law, which is bad for Hoosier workers and does not represent our Midwestern value of accepting personal responsibility, struck down by the courts.”