May 29, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Frankfort, KY – The Kentucky AFL-CIO and Teamsters Local 89 filed a lawsuit May 25, asking a Franklin County judge to stop enforcement of the state’s union-shop ban.
The suit argues that the law, rushed through the state legislature in January and signed by Gov. Matt Bevin, is discriminatory and unconstitutional because it prohibits unions from requiring workers they represent to pay fees or dues—something that is not barred for other organizations. “We think we’ve got strong arguments on constitutional grounds related to equal treatment,” said state AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan. “It decreases our ability to adequately represent our membership and achieve a good collective-bargaining agreement.” A spokesperson for Bevin called the suit “political games” that threaten “to hurt Kentucky’s families, robbing them of high-paying job opportunities.” A West Virginia judge issued a similar injunction against the state’s new union-shop ban in 2016, but a federal appeals court rejected a constitutional challenge to Indiana’s law ban in 2014. Read more