In May 2017 the AFL-CIO and Teamsters Local 89 filed suit to block a recent Right to Work bill after claims that a ban on mandatory union fees violates the state’s constitution. If successful, the suit would block January’s Right to Work bill, protect union bargaining rights and prevent erosion of wages.
Kentucky became a Right to Work state earlier this year after an Election Day Republican sweep gave proponents the majority, marking the end of a multi-year struggle. After gaining support from local unions, the lawsuit was filed which names Bevin and Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey as defendants.
“It’s important that people show their support for these latest efforts to block Right to Work. By standing up and letting your voice be heard, you’re sending a message that the voters know Right to Work is wrong,” said Richard Dalton, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18, which also represents several counties in Kentucky.
2017 has seen multiple lawsuits used as a tool for blocking legislation, from the president’s travel ban to Kentucky’s own Right to Work bill. It’s an uncommon tactic which many are hearing about for the first time.
A lawsuit challenging government legislation suspends the enforcement, removing legislative debate and letting a judge issue the final verdict. The plaintiffs, AFL-CIO and Teamsters Local 89 will soon attend a hearing where the defendants, Governor Bevin and Labor Secretary Ramsey, must convince a judge their bill does not violate the state’s constitution. If they make a successful case, it’s business as usual. If not, the legislation will be repealed.
What Bevin is currently asking of the courts is a summary judgement, which is an independent review of the case by a judge in the hopes it can be dismissed without a full trial.
Right to Work is no stranger to conflict. The legislation bans mandatory union dues and allows non-union workers to take advantage of benefits and representation. Proponents claim this fosters a healthier economy, while critics and many studies show the opposite. Unions without financial support are destined to fail, leaving workers prey to low wages, no representation and poor workplace conditions.
“Right to Work is bad legislation, plain and simple,” said Dalton. “It’s made so businesses help themselves, not the workers. While Kentucky’s governor is held up in court, workers need to learn the facts and make their voices heard.”
For more information on Right to Work in Ohio, visit: http://protectohiosmiddleclass.org.
SOURCE: Keep Ohio's Heritage
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