Right-to-work Suit’s Chance Of Success Is Up For Debate

The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 has filed suit saying the newly passed right-to-work legislation is illegal.

Speaker Brian Bosma Signing

Photo: Indiana House Republicans

Unions say they the right-to-work bill that House Speaker Brian Bosma signed on February 1 violates state and federal law.

A legal challenge to Indiana’s Right to Work legislation has been filed in federal court, but the state’s Attorney General says he does not think there is much chance of the law getting struck down.

The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 filed the suit. In it, they claim the law violates several facets of both the state and federal constitutions. Among them is a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment and the contract clause of article one of the U.S. Constitution.  But Indiana is not the first state to pass right-to-work, and Attorney General Greg Zoeller says Hoosier legislators used other laws as models.

“Unless there’s something unique about it, I’d say the likelihood of defending it is pretty high,” he says.

Union spokesman Ed Maher says each right-to-work law is a little different because they conform to each state constitution. He says Indiana’s right-to-work law has some significant errors he believes will help get it overturned.

“When you try to push it through quickly, you know, things like this slip through – just, what appear to be poor draftsmanship,” he says.

Maher says that includes the portion of the law dealing with construction trades not containing an enacting date. He says, without an enacting date, that part of the law immediately goes into effect and retroactively makes all current contracts illegal. That, he says, would violate both state and federal constitutions.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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  • Adrox

    Requiring a union to represent people that don’t pay for their services is like requiring my insurance company to pay for my damages even if i don’t pay my premiums.

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