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West Virginia unions celebrate legal victory for working families
CHARLESTON — West Virginia working families won a major victory yesterday, when Kanawha Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey struck down the so-called “Right to Work” law aimed at attacking unions.
“Judge Bailey was right-on with her ruling,” West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “She made it very clear that this bill violates the West Virginia Constitutional rights of unions and individuals with regard to association, property and liberty.
“We entered into this lengthy legal challenge nearly three years ago because we knew the law violated of the rights of West Virginia workers – and we simply won’t stand for that.”
In her order, Judge Bailey agreed with the West Virginia AFL-CIO, the Teamsters and other unions that challenged Senate Bill 1, passed by the Republican majority of the Legislature in 2016, because it violates the West Virginia Constitution’s prohibition of taking property without due process and compensation, as well as unions’ liberty interests.
“The new law will require unions and union officials to work, to supply their valuable expertise, and to provide expensive services for nothing,” Judge Bailey wrote.
“We are very pleased with Judge Bailey’s ruling on the unconstitutional ‘Right to Work’ bill passed during the 2016 legislative session,” said Ken Hall, General Secretary-Treasurer of the International Teamsters Union and President of Teamsters Local 175. “This proposal, led by War on Working Families champion Mitch Carmichael and then-Speaker of the House Tim Armstead, was nothing more than an attack on our wages, benefits and working conditions.
“We’re glad they lost,” Hall added. “This is a win for all of West Virginia’s working families.”
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