November 13, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Montgomery, AL – Alabama has added a ban on the union shop to the more than 900 amendments to its state constitution.
Almost 70% of voters backed Amendment 8, which states that a person cannot be denied the right to work on account of “nonmembership in a labor union or labor organization” or be required to pay dues or representation fees.
The state has had such a law since 1953, but having it as a constitutional amendment means it cannot be repealed or changed by the legislature. Republican state Sen. Gerald Dial said it “will send a message to people all over the world looking to locate in Alabama and invest their money here that the state will continue to be a right-to-work state.” “If a man or a woman wants the benefits of National Rifle Association membership, they pay dues. If a business seeks membership in the Chamber of Commerce, it pays dues,” Alabama AFL-CIO President Bren Riley wrote in October. “So it simply makes sense on every level that those workers reaping the benefit of the tireless efforts of Alabama’s unions pay a fair share of dues, as well.” Read more