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Union sues over right-to-work law

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A northern Indiana labor organization has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Mitch Daniels and other state actors over the recent enactment of legislation that made Indiana a “right-to-work” state.

The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, AFL-CIO; and representatives and members of the union filed the suit Wednesday in federal court in Hammond.

Daniels signed the legislation into law Feb. 1. Section 8 of the law says that a person doesn’t have to join a union or pay dues or fees to a union as a condition of employment. The law, Indiana Code 22-6-6, took effect immediately for the building and construction industry, and the law applied to written or oral contracts entered into, modified or extended after March 14, 2012, in other areas.

Local 150 had and still has collective bargaining agreements in effect with building and construction industry employers in Indiana, according to the suit. The right-to-work law “substantially impairs the contractual relationships that Local 150 has with these building and construction industry employers,” the plaintiffs argue.

The suit alleges that the law violates equal protection under the federal and state constitutions, Article 1, Section 10 of the United States Constitution, and Article 1, sections 21 and 24 of the state constitution. The plaintiffs challenge the portion of the law that institutes criminal penalties for violating Section 8.

The plaintiffs want the court to declare that the right-to-work law is invalid in its entirety and prevent the state from enforcing the law.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who is named as a defendant in the suit, said in a release shortly after the case was filed that the office will “diligently” defend the law, as is the office’s duty.

“Legal challenges are part of the process to test whether laws are constitutional. Though we respect the right of private plaintiffs to disagree with this new law, the state’s position is that the Legislature was within its authority to create a new policy concerning mandatory union dues,” he said.

 

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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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