Union Says Right-to-Work Makes Us Slaves

Is it slavery for union workers to work alongside nonunion workers?

The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) filed a lawsuit claiming that Indiana’s right-to-work law violates the 13th Amendment, which states that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude…shall exist within the United States.” The union claims that:

The Defendants have exacted compulsory service and/or involuntary servitude from the Union through the combination of the passage of the Right to Work law and the existing federal requirement of the duty of fair representation. Through these laws the Union is compelled to furnish services to all persons in bargaining units that it represents, but it may not require payment for those services because of the Right to Work law.

Right-to-work laws prevent unions from forcing workers to pay union dues. The IUOE argues (with a straight face) that this is akin to slavery.

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