Features, Labor News Briefs, Municipal Government, National

W.Va. Court Lets Union-Shop Ban Take Effect

September 20, 2017

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Parkersburg, W. Va.—The state Supreme Court on Sept. 15 overturned a lower court’s injunction that had prevented the state’s ban on the union shop from going into effect since February. Justice Menis Ketchum wrote that the state AFL-CIO and other unions challenging the constitutionality of the “Workplace Freedom Act” enacted in 2016 had failed to show that their chances of succeeding were strong enough to merit an injunction. The unions contended that the law was unconstitutional because it would force them to represent nonmembers for nothing. “We maintain that this law violates provisions of the West Virginia Constitution that prohibit the taking of property from unions and their members without just compensation or due process,” said Josh Sword, president of the West Virginia AFL-CIO. “When a majority of employees in a workplace, through a democratic process, vote to unionize, federal law requires unions to provide services to all employees, whether or not they choose to participate in that union.” State officials, Republican legislators, and the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity hailed the ruling as a victory over “forced union membership.” The law will go back into effect while the lower court considers the unions’ challenge. Read more

September 20, 2017

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