A lawsuit was filed today by the Kentucky AFL-CIO and Teamsters Local 89 who claim Kentucky’s new right-to-work law violates the state’s constitution.
The lawsuit argues the law is discriminatory and unconstitutional because it treats unions differently than other organizations that collect fees or dues to cover the costs of the benefits it provides. It asks a judge to temporarily block the law while the lawsuit proceeds.
House Bill 1, the bill making Kentucky a right-to-work state, passed the first week of the 2017 General Assembly and with an emergency clause, immediately became law upon the governor’s signature.
The lawsuit, filed in Franklin Circuit Court, names Gov. Matt Bevin and Labor Cabinet Secretary Derrick Ramsey as defendants.
Right-to-work prohibits any worker from having to join a union as condition of employment. The Kentucky Chamber has long been an advocate of right-to-work legislation and as Kentucky struggles to recruit and retain business, this legislation has already helped the Commonwealth be more competitive to businesses seeking to locate in the state.
Just last month, Braidy Industries credited Kentucky’s new right-to-work law as one of the main factors they chose to locate in Ashland. Braidy Industries plans to hire 550 employees with an average annual wage of $75,000.
“As the last southern state to pass right-to-work, Kentucky is already benefiting from this law that’s only been in effect 5 months. We are confident that the law will be upheld, like it has been in other states” said Kentucky Chamber Vice President of Public Affairs Ashli Watts.