Ind. workers support right-to-work law

Michael P. Tremoglie Jul. 12, 2012, 9:54am


INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) - Two Indiana workers sent the Indiana Department of Labor a message supporting the state's newly enacted right-to-work law.

IDOL is in the process of drafting regulations to enforce the law. Douglas Richards, an employee with Cequent Towing Products, and David Brubaker, who works for Georgia Pacific, filed their comments on Wednesday.

They received free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

Both Richards' and Brubaker's workplaces are unionized by the United Steel Workers union hierarchy. Both workers have opted not to join the union.

However, they are still required to pay for the portion of union dues dedicated to collective bargaining. This will continue until their employers' old contracts with the union expire. Then the new right-to-work law is applicable.

The workers contend that job applicants are properly included under Indiana's right-to-work protections and that the proposed 90-day statute of limitations on violations of the law should be extended to two years.

They also suggest that the regulations make it clearer to union officials that they can be held accountable for violating the law.

The two previously filed an amicus brief in state court defending their protections from a USW union legal challenge. The lawsuit opposing the right-to-work makes a number of dubious claims about Indiana's new law, according to the NRTW.

Brubaker's and Richards' court brief said that collective bargaining agreements that force nonmember employees to subsidize union activities - such as the agreements both workers are currently subject to under the USW union hierarchy - infringe on their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association.

"These two workers stand steadfast in support of their newly-enacted Right to Work freedoms," said Mark Mix, NRTW President. "We are pleased to help them and all of Indiana's workers exercise their rights under Indiana's Right to Work law during this transition and in the future."

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