INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The battle over Indiana's right to work law is now being fought in the courts. Unions won a court victory in Lake County when a judge found the law to be unconstitutional, yet leaves it in place until appeals are exhausted.
The Attorney General will appeal to the State Supreme Court but, whatever the Supreme Court says, it won't be the last word on the matter.
"It certainly has energized labor unions and labor union members around the state and the nation," said Jeff Harris of the AFL-CIO, "that our arguments are right and this is an unfair, unjust, and unsafe law."
The events of this week back up the promises made by labor leaders in 2012 when Nancy Guyott of the AFL-CIO told a Statehouse rally, "We're fighting for the dreams of our children and I know with that motivation, they ain't seen nothing yet."
Then, union supporters in the legislature including state Senator Tim Skinner (D-Terre Haute) urged persistence.
"Hang tough, stay strong," he said. "This isn't over yet."
But the author of the right to work bill says that when it was written, lawyers assured him that it was constitutional. Rep. Jerry Torr (R-Carmel) also expects to be on the winning side of an appeal that will leave the law in place.
"Despite what some of the opponents are saying," said Torr, "it does seem to have been working in terms of attracting jobs and I've heard from individuals who have been helped because they no longer are forced to pay dues to an organization that they didn't want to belong to."
But the unions are recruiting candidates and hoping to revisit right-to-work in the legislature someday. Union leaders point out that Indiana first passed a right to work law in 1957 and then repealed it in 1964. This is an old fight and like anything in politics it can make for strange bedfellows.
John Sedia, the judge who overturned the law, was appointed by Mitch Daniels, the governor who signed the right to work bill into law.
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