by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A Kentucky judge threw out a union attempt to block the state’s newly minted right to work law.
Teamsters Local 89 filed suit shortly after Republican Gov. Matt Bevin approved right to work, a law that bars companies from mandating union membership as a condition of employment, in January 2017. On Tuesday, Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas D. Wingate dismissed the suit, saying the union failed to show a “genuine issue of material fact” to support its assertion the law would illegally take their property.
“The KRTW Act does not violate the equal protections afforded by the Kentucky Constitution, nor is it special legislation that was enacted,” the ruling says. “No genuine issue of material fact exists for any of these issues.” …
… “The Court holds that Plaintiffs do not hold a vested property interest in union service or future union security contracts, and, further, the KRTW Act does not constitute a taking,” the ruling says. “Any lost payment of compulsory dues is not a taking because future union dues and fees do not constitute a vested property interest with which the government is interfering.”
The judge said the denial of non-members fees did not meet the bar for unconstitutional taking. Federal law has long held that right to work laws are constitutional and that unions voluntarily enter collective bargaining agreements knowing that labor policy may change at the state level.