As of midnight the contract between AT & T and and the Communications Workers of America will have expired and that means Indiana’s new Right to Work will kick in for the hundred of employees who are union members here in the Hoosier State.
Under RTW, a worker cannot be compelled to pay union fees as a condition of their employment. The law went into effect on March 14 and it impacts contracts either created or modified after that date.
Proponents of RTW have argued that it was about worker freedom and choice. They also say if a union is truly representing its employees they will gladly pay dues because they are getting their money’s worth.
Opponents say it was simply a way to break the unions and it allows non-union employees to freeload because a union has to represent all the employees in a workplace under federal law if it chooses to be the exclusive bargaining unit.
The CWA Local 4900 represents about 3500 workers here in the Midwest, including Indiana. The two sides have apparently been deadlocked over issues such as health care and sick leave. The national union has called for strikes in the event an agreement cannot be reached.
The union’s website says members are closing ranks, however we reported a while back that there was dissension in the local ranks over what some members have believed was inadequate representation. This could leave to a decline in membership under the new RTW law.
This will definitely be something worth following.