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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. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

  2. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  3. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  4. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  5. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

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