Indiana Workers File Brief in Support of State's New Right to Work Law
Hoosier citizens contest spurious union legal challenge
Lake County, IN (May 7, 2012) -- Two Indiana citizens, David Brubaker and Douglas Richards, have just submitted an amicus curiae brief to defend Indiana's newly-enacted Right to Work law from a frivolous union legal challenge in state court.
Brubaker and Richards are both clients of National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys. To comply with Indiana bar and court rules, the Foundation engaged Indiana attorneys Asheesh Agarwal and David Wagner of the Indianapolis office of Ogletree Deakins to file the workers' amicus brief.
The anti-Right to Work lawsuit, filed by United Steel Workers (USW) lawyers in April, makes a number of dubious claims about Indiana's new law, including the argument that unions have a right to force workers to pay for their unwanted services.
Both Brubaker and Richards are employed in workplaces where a forced dues contract remains in place between their employers and the USW. Consequently, both workers are still forced to pay union dues just to keep their jobs, despite the fact neither belongs to the union nor sought the union's so-called "representation."
Although Indiana's recently-enacted Right to Work law states that no employee can be required to pay union dues as a condition of employment, forced dues contracts between unions and employers entered into prior to the effective date of the law remain in force throughout the state.
According to Brubaker and Richards, monopoly bargaining agreements that force nonunion employees to subsidize union activities -- such as the agreements both workers are currently subject to -- infringe on their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association. Brubaker and Richards have no desire to affiliate with the USW union or contribute financially to union activities, and Indiana's new Right to Work law frees them from those obligations as soon as their employers' old contracts with the USW union expire.
"Hoosier citizens want to make their voices heard against a frivolous union legal challenge to Indiana's new Right to Work law," said Patrick Semmens, legal information director for the National Right to Work Foundation. "Workers shouldn't be forced to join or pay tribute to a union just to keep a job, which is why we applaud David Brubaker and Douglas Richards for standing up for their rights in state court."