INDIANAPOLIS | Gov. Mike Pence is not giving up on the state's right-to-work law, even though two Lake County judges have ruled it incompatible with the Indiana Constitution.
The Republican governor said Friday he strongly supports Republican Attorney General Greg Zoeller's efforts to stay Lake Circuit Judge George Paras' July 17 ruling and overturn Lake Superior Judge John Sedia's 2013 decision, which is set for review by the Supreme Court Sept. 4.
"We think that right-to-work is an enormously important asset to our economy, but I also strongly support it because I don't think anyone should be required to join a union as a condition of their employment," Pence said.
Federal law prohibits requiring union membership as a condition of employment.
Indiana's right-to-work law bars unions from collecting fair-share fees from nonunion employees for bargaining and grievance services unions must provide to all employees at a unionized workplace.
Both Paras and Sedia ruled that runs afoul of the Indiana Constitution's "particular services clause" that declares, "No person's particular services shall be demanded, without just compensation."
"The RTW (right-to-work) statute eviscerates the basic right that a person be compensated for the good and valuable services that a person provides in commercial endeavors and is the type of law that the particular services clause was intended to bar," Paras said in declaring the 2012 law unconstitutional.
Pence nevertheless insisted right-to-work is a key component of his economic development strategy for luring companies to the state.
"I can tell you that as we tell Indiana's story around the country and around the world that economic freedom in the workplace, our balanced budget, low taxes are all equal parts of a real winning message for Indiana," he said.