Features, Law and Politics, National

Judge Dismisses Challenge to Kentucky’s Union-Shop Ban

January 29, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

A Kentucky judge on Jan. 24 dismissed a lawsuit by the state AFL-CIO and Teamsters Local 89 to strike down the state’s 2017 law banning the union shop. The unions argued that the law was an unconstitutional and discriminatory “taking” of their property because it forced them to represent workers who refuse to pay dues or fees. “Kentucky’s limitation of employees from whom unions collect dues is not a taking of union property, but rather is a prevention of Kentucky employees paying compulsory union dues,” Franklin County Circuit Court Justice Thomas Wingate wrote. “The legislation does not treat unions differently than similarly situated organizations because unions are unique, federally created entities.” The law was rushed through the state legislature in January 2017 by Gov. Matt Bevin after Republicans won control of its lower house in the 2016 elections. Kentucky AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan said the unions plan to appeal the ruling. “We believe our higher courts will recognize the harmful effect that this unjust and discriminatory law has on our workers and their unions,” he said in a statement, adding that it weakens “the strongest voice workers have to speak on their behalf.” Read more

January 29, 2018

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