— A Lake County judge struck down Indiana's right-to-work ban on certain
union fees in a second legal blow to the contentious law passed in 2012.
Circuit Court Judge George Paras determined the law violates the state
constitution by forcing unions to provide services to workers without
payment. He wrote in his July 17 ruling that the law was immediately "null
and void". Paras determined that the state interjected itself into a
federal requirement that unions represent all workers -- whether they pay
union fees or not -- when it established criminal penalties for violating
the right-to-work law.
Steelworkers, which lobbied unsuccessfully against the law in 2011 and
2012, filed the suit against the state.
the 23rd state in the nation to ban unions from charging mandatory fees
for representation in February 2012; later that year, Michigan Gov. Rick
Snyder rushed through legislation making Michigan the 24th state to ban
the fees. Indiana's extensive battle on the issue drew thousands of
protesters to the Statehouse between 2011 and 2012.
Greg Zoeller said Wednesday he would appeal and seek an immediate stay of
exist on both sides about involuntary union dues, but the Attorney
General's Office has a duty to defend the laws the Legislature passes,"
Zoeller said in a statement Wednesday.
Superior Court Judge John Sedia judge struck down the law last fall in a
separate case, but stayed it from taking effect. That case is now being
considered by the Indiana Supreme Court.
Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, representing northwest Indiana,
filed the suit being considered by the state's high court and praised the
decision in the sister lawsuit Wednesday.
"We applaud the
decision of the Court and congratulate the Steelworkers on successfully
dealing another blow to Indiana's ill-conceived 'right to work' law," IUOE
Local 150 president-business manager James M. Sweeney said in a statement