Labor supporters around the country are anxiously awaiting a Kentucky judge’s decision on what many believe will be a historic lawsuit.
The suit which was filed by a collection of nine Kentucky unions in January, challenges the controversial ordinance that could be the first step in enacting Right to Work on a county-by-county basis. The unions have long maintained that the National Labor Relations Act only allows for that type of legislation to pass at the state or territorial level.
Following the completion of oral arguments last week, many union supporters are optimistic about the impending decision.
“I think the unions will make it out of this just fine,” says Richard Dalton, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 which represents all of Ohio and several counties in Kentucky. “With similar rulings falling in line with the union stance, we’re confident that the law is on labor’s side.”
According to Irwin Cutler, an attorney who argued on behalf of the unions, two previous decisions ruled that the National Labor Relations Act pre-empted any local or state labor laws.
As of now, no date has been set for when a ruling is expected.
In December of 2014, Warren County, home to the sizeable General Motors factory that builds Chevrolet Corvettes, became the first Right to Work county in Kentucky, passing the local ordinance 5-1. Since then, several other counties have passed similar measures.
With a significant Right to Work development happening right in their backyard, Ohio union leaders have been paying extremely close attention.
“It’s unfortunate that this situation has occurred, but I’m proud of the way the community has banded together to fight back,” said Dalton. “Regardless of the decision, the labor community will continue to fight Right to Work on every front.”
Opponents of the recent Ohio Right to Work effort, including the “Workplace Freedom” bills, contend that the initiative’s true intent is to kill unions and worker protections, ultimately leading to a weaker middle class.
Whether they call it “Paycheck Protection,” “Workplace Freedom” or Right to Work, opponents of the efforts remain dedicated to ensuring the voting public knows the truth about the GOP’s divisive agenda.
For more information on Right to Work in Ohio, visit: http://protectohiosmiddleclass.org/
SOURCE: Keep Ohio's Heritage
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