Labor unions file injunction to halt West Virginia Right to Work law

Union leaders in the Mountain State hope to stop controversial law before it is enacted
(PR NewsChannel) / July 11, 2016 / CHARLESTON, W.V. 

Seal_of_West_Virginia.svgWhen West Virginia legislators passed The Workplace Freedom Act, a.k.a. Right to Work, earlier this year, labor leaders vowed to defeat it. Two days before the law was supposed to be implemented a coalition of AFL-CIO and other labor leaders made good on their promise with a last minute injunction in hopes of stopping the controversial legislation.

The injunction argues that the law is unconstitutional because it takes away property without due process. The lawsuit names Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Labor Commissioner John Junctions among a list of defendants. Even though Tomblin vetoed the law, the House of Delegates overrode his veto due to the abundance of Republicans in the House who support the law.

The labor groups are hoping that the courts can help stop what the governor couldn’t.

Right to Work laws, which have been enacted in 26 states nationwide, permit an individual to work in a certain industry without having to pay union dues. While proponents of Right to Work claim that the law will increase jobs, labor unions argue that it is an overall detriment to the economy and point to statistics that show wage depreciation in states that have similarly adopted the law.

One labor union leader who is overjoyed with the injunction is Richard Dalton, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 in neighboring Ohio. Dalton, who has been watching Right to Work adoptions in states around the country, is happy to see labor unions are taking a stand against special interests in West Virginia.

“I applaud labor leaders in the mountain state for filing this injunction against the Right to Work law,” Dalton said. “There is no doubt in my mind that if this law is enacted here in West Virginia, hardworking families will suffer just like so many other families who have seen their wages go down due to Right to Work laws.”

Despite the long odds of success with an injunction, labor supporters see hope in a similar case in Wisconsin where a lower court overruled a recent Right to Work law.

“I am very optimistic that after all of the evidence is laid out and all of the arguments are heard, Right to Work will be struck down in West Virginia,” said Dalton. “When that happens, middle-class Americans all over the state can take a sigh of relief knowing that their jobs and their economy are safe.”

For more information on Right to Work in Ohio, visit:

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SOURCE:  Keep Ohio's Heritage

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