An Indiana union has filed a lawsuit against Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels claiming that Indiana’s right-to-work law is akin to slavery, in violation of theThirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
The union, The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, claims in the lawsuit filed on Wednesday that “compulsory service is the equivalent ofinvoluntary servitude under the Thirteenth Amendment.”
The lawsuit argues that the “defendants have exacted compulsory service and/or involuntary servitude from the Union through the combination of the passageof the Right to Work law and the existing federal requirement of the duty of fairrepresentation” and that the union is “compelled to furnish services to all personsin bargaining units that it represents but it may not require payments for thoseservices because of the Right to Work law.”
The union also claims the right-to-work law “requires dues-paying members towork alongside non-union personnel, and that is compulsory service within themeaning of the thirteenth amendment.”
The Thirteenth Amendment, passed after the Civil War to emancipate blacks,reads, “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crimewhereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the UnitedStates, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Needless to say, the original intent of the Thirteenth Amendment was not to helpunion workers prevent non-union members from being able to work.