The following statement was issued by IUOE General President James T. Callahan on the victory by Local 150 over Indiana’s right-to-work laws.

Brothers and Sisters:

I am pleased to share some good news in the ongoing fight against so called “right-to-work” laws that we have been waging in several states.

In a decision issued Monday (Sept. 8), Judge John M. Sedia of Indiana’s Lake Superior Court declared Indiana’s right-to-work law unconstitutional. The ruling was the latest development in a lawsuit filed by IUOE Local 150.

Local 150’s lawsuit argued that Indiana’s right-to-work law is unconstitutional because it makes it illegal for unions to collect fees for services that they are federally required to provide.

Judge Sedia agreed, stating that under Indiana’s right-to-work law, “it becomes a criminal offence for a union to receive just compensation for particular services federal law demands it provide to employees.”

Judge Sedia concluded that, “the court therefore has no choice but to find that (the laws) violate Article 1, Section 21 of the Indiana Constitution.”

Following the judge’s ruling, Local 150 business manager and IUOE vice-president James M. Sweeney summed things up with the following statement:

“This is a victory for the middle class. These laws are nothing but thinly-veiled tools to weaken unions, and this is a big win for workers who rely on unions to provide decent wages and benefits. We pledged on the day that this law was passed that they hadn’t seen the last of us, and we are delighted with this ruling.”

I had the honor and pleasure of announcing the news from the floor of the AFL-CIO Convention (recently) in Los Angeles. Thousands of delegates, representing every union in the labour federation, immediately stood with a thundering ovation upon hearing the news. That ovation and all due credit goes to Jim Sweeney and his staff for their tireless and unwavering work.

This is a huge victory for our union and for all working people in Indiana and beyond. The fight continues, but we will build on this victory and we will fight on.

Congratulations to everyone at Local 150. Well done.

Click here to read the decision.

Click here to read the press release from IUOE Local 150