Right to Work battle heating up in Supreme Court

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indiana unions have won another battle in the effort to overturn Indiana’s controversial Right to Work law. It has been struck down by a special judge in Lake County who found it unconstitutional.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller is asking the judge to put the ruling on hold. The State Supreme Court is already planning to hear arguments on a similar ruling in September.

Unions rallied when they lost the fight over Right to Work in the General Assembly in 2012. They were defiant then.

“Nobody gave me nothing,” said union member Rosa Maria Gonzales at the time, “I had to fight for everything I have and that’s why I’m here.”

They headed straight to court and now it’s paying off.

“It’s obviously a victory for workers,” said AFL-CIO President Brett Voorhies of the new ruling.”It proves that, not only once but twice now, a judge has ruled that it’s unconstitutional.”

But Rep. Jerry Torr, the Carmel Republican who authored the Right to Work law, says the union lawsuit helps make his argument against mandatory union membership.

“The fact that they have to sue,” said Torr, “to try to force people to belong to their organization because there are people who don’t want to, yeah, that shows you exactly why we needed a right to work law in the first place.””

He looks forward to arguments in the Supreme Court.

Meantime, the unions say they are thriving despite the new law.

“I think if you probably do a study now,” said Voorhies, “you can tell that since right to work’s in wages have gone down so actually it’s bringing more people out to want to organize a union, to want to have that job security, to want to make a fair wage.”

The unions also challenged the right-to-work law in federal court but lost there.

Indiana first became a right to work state in 1957 and state lawmakers reversed that in 1965.

This is a battle that will likely last for a long, long time.

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