Controversial anti-union laws continue to thrust the typically camera-shy Midwest into the national spotlight.
On January 17, a federal judge shot down a union-driven lawsuit aimed at overturning Indiana’s “right-to-work” law, passed last February. Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers spokesperson Ed Maher attacked the constitutionality of the law by arguing that free riders benefit from unions that “are legally obligated to provide services including contract negotiation, grievance representation, and legal assistance.” Unions claim that this is forced labor without compensation.
Judge Philip Simon of the U.S. District Court, however, didn’t buy it, explaining in his ruling:
None of the legal challenges launched by the union here to attack Indiana’s new Right to Work law can succeed. The electorate can ultimately decide whether [lawmakers'] judgments are sound, wise, and constitute good governance and can express their opinions at the polls and by other means. But those are questions beyond the reach of the federal court.