An Indiana judge ruled that the state’s “right to work” law was unconstitutional. Judge John Sedia ruled the law unconstitutional because it required unions to provide benefits to nonmembers without just compensation. The law was challenged by Operating Engineers Local 150 and the union’s General President James Callahan announced the ruling on the convention floor:
“Local 150 argued Indiana’s right-to-work law is unconstitutional because it makes it illegal for unions to collect fees for services that federally required to be provided,” said Callahan. “This is a victory for the middle class. These laws are nothing but thinly veiled tools to weaken unions and this is a big win for workers who rely on to provide decent wages and benefits.”
On Sept. 13 Indiana Attorney general Greg Zoeller filed an appeal to the ruling and it will be sent directly to the Indiana Supreme Court.
What does this mean for you?
If the ruling is upheld it would be a major blow to “right to work” laws nationwide and strengthen your right to join together with other workers and have a voice on the job. Extremist groups, right-wing politicians and their corporate backers want to weaken the power of workers and their unions through “right to work” laws. Their efforts are a partisan political ploy that undermines the basic rights of workers. By making unions weaker, these laws lower wages and living standards for all workers in the state. In fact, workers in states with these laws earn an average of $5,680 less a year than workers in other states.
UFCW Local 1546 represents workers in Illinois and Indiana in a diverse range of industries including grocery and drug retailers; meat cutting, processing, and packing; chemical works; nursing home and healthcare facilities, and many others.