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Thread: Kentucky House panel shoots down two Senate bills opposed by Kentucky unions

  1. #51
    Taking A Stand!!!

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    Default Re: Kentucky House panel shoots down two Senate bills opposed by Kentucky unions

    Unions Appeal Right to Work in Kentucky
    The unions behind a failed challenge to Kentucky's right-to-work law are appealing a state judge's ruling on its constitutionality.

    Teamsters Local 89 and the state chapter of the AFL-CIO, America's largest labor organization, filed an appeal Tuesday to the Kentucky Court of Appeals seeking to overturn Franklin Circuit Court judge Thomas Wingate's dismissal of a suit challenging right to work. Wingate tossed the suit on Jan. 23 after determining the unions failed to demonstrate that the law, which prohibits union fees as a condition of employment, illegally deprives the union of its private 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."

    Neither Local 89 president Fred Zuckerman, nor Kentucky AFL-CIO president William Londrigan responded to requests for comment.

    Federal labor law requires unions with exclusive bargaining rights over a workplace to cover all workers and not just members. The union suit argued that right to work would allow workers to benefit from union-negotiated wages, compensation, and work rules without properly paying for them. Wingate ruled that labor organizations do not own the future dues and fees of workers and added that they have been aware of potential changes to the law.
    Unions Appeal Right to Work in Kentucky

  2. #52
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    Default Re: Kentucky House panel shoots down two Senate bills opposed by Kentucky unions

    Long-awaited pension reform bill introduced in state Senate — with controversial provisions dropped

    A long-awaited pension reform bill, filed Tuesday in the state Senate, will not force any current or future government workers into a 401(k)-style retirement plan.

    That proposal had sparked boisterous protests, especially from Kentucky’s teachers.

    “We heard you, and we adjusted our thinking because of your voices,” said state Sen. Joe Bowen, the Owensboro Republican who sponsored the measure.

    The legislation is the culmination of months of debate between Gov. Matt Bevin, lawmakers, government employees and business organizations on a workable means to restore financial solvency to one of the country’s worst-funded public pension systems.

    Bowen said his proposal will slowly restore Kentucky’s pension systems over some 30 years.

    Two controversial provisions have been dropped in the latest proposal: one that would have required teachers and other government employees to pay 3 percent of their income for retiree health benefits and another that would have capped teacher pensions after 27 years of service.
    Long-awaited pension reform bill introduced in state Senate — with controversial provisions dropped | NKyTribune

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    Default Re: Kentucky House panel shoots down two Senate bills opposed by Kentucky unions

    Working People Flip State House Seat in Kentucky
    On Tuesday, working people claimed a landslide victory in a Kentucky special election. "I could not have done this without labor," said Democrat Linda Belcher in her victory speech. She’s the newly elected state representative for House District 49 in Bullitt County, just south of Louisville where then-presidential candidate Donald Trump carried 72% of the vote in 2016.

    Union members knocked on doors in freezing weather and made phone calls in the district to make sure a real champion for working people would represent them in the state House. The Greater Louisville Central Labor Council, Kentucky State AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers (USW), Laborers (LIUNA), UAW Local 862 and Teamsters Local 89 members had thousands of conversations with more than 2,000 union members who live in House District 49.

    "Unions stand in solidarity with pro-working family candidates. We are proud to fight for folks who will pass pro-working family policies and give all of Kentucky's hardworking men and women a better life," said Todd Dunn, president of the Greater Louisville Central Labor Council and Local 862.

    Fred Zuckerman, president of Local 89, added, "In January 2017, the previous state representative in District 49 betrayed the working people of Kentucky by voting for so-called right to work and voting to repeal prevailing wage. Teamsters Local 89 swore on that day we would do everything in our power to flip any seat that voted against workers. Tonight, the Kentucky labor movement has done just that by helping to elect Linda Belcher. They started this war on workers but, in the end, we are going to win it."
    https://aflcio.org/2018/2/21/working...-seat-kentucky
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  4. #54
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    Default Re: Kentucky House panel shoots down two Senate bills opposed by Kentucky unions

    Coal miners are dying of black lung, and a Kentucky law could make it harder to claim benefits

    Kentucky is really watching out for it's workers!

    COAL RUN, Kentucky — Kentucky is at the center of what experts are calling the worst black lung epidemic on record. But instead of making it easier for miners to get access to health care, Kentucky’s lawmakers passed a law that may soon hinder miners’ ability to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.

    The new law, which goes into effect on July 14, bars federally certified radiologists from assessing coal miners’ X-rays in state black lung workers’ compensation claims. Instead, the state will require that only pulmonologists, physicians whose focus is lung disease, be allowed to judge X-rays for benefit claims. Right now, there are only 11 doctors in Kentucky who are certified to examine X-rays for state benefits claims, and the new law will cut that number down to five.

    “It doesn't make any sense from a medical perspective,” Centers for Disease Control epidemiologist and black lung expert Scott Laney told VICE News in an interview at the agency’s Morgantown, West Virginia, offices. The law could restrict coal miners’ access to care, he said. “Certainly it's going to restrict their access to disability compensation proceedings.”

    Moreover, of the five pulmonologists who will still be allowed to examine X-rays when state claims are filed, three have acted as expert witnesses on behalf of coal companies or their insurers as they sought to challenge miners’ benefit claims, as was reported by NPR in March. Because of this, many black lung experts and advocates say the law is an attempt by the coal industry to limit the amount of money they have to spend on coal miner healthcare in the midst of a mounting epidemic.
    https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/...claim-benefits

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    Default Re: Kentucky House panel shoots down two Senate bills opposed by Kentucky unions

    Kentucky Supreme Court considers right-to-work law
    FRANKFORT — Labor leaders fighting laws to let workers skip paying union fees took their argument to the Kentucky Supreme Court on Friday, days after voters rejected a similar law in Missouri.

    Federal law requires most labor unions to represent all workers in a bargaining unit, even those workers who don't join the union. Most union contracts require all workers to pay a fee to the union to help cover its costs in enforcing the contract. But at least 28 states have passed laws exempting workers from these fees.

    Kentucky's Republican-controlled legislature passed its law, known as right-to-work, in January 2017, saying it was necessary to attract new businesses to the state. But union leaders said it would weaken them by choking a significant source of their revenue, money they need to enforce labor contracts with big businesses.

    Friday, the seven elected justices of the state Supreme Court heard arguments about whether Kentucky's law violates the state's Constitution. Of the 27 other states that have right-to-work laws, appellate courts have struck done none of them. But Irwin Cutler, an attorney representing labor unions, says Kentucky's Constitution is different from all other states in the way it bans lawmakers from passing "special legislation," or laws that unfairly target a specific group or class.

    "What we see is an attempt to destroy unions," Cutler said.
    Kentucky Supreme Court considers right-to-work law | News | richmondregister.com

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    Default Re: Kentucky House panel shoots down two Senate bills opposed by Kentucky unions

    Kentucky’s main pension fund for state workers was already frail. It just got weaker.


    As bad as Kentucky’s pension prospects were, it turns out there was still room for further decline.

    As of June 30, Kentucky state government’s primary pension fund had only 12.9 percent of the money it’s expected to need to make future payments to tens of thousands of retirees, compared to 13.6 percent a year earlier, according to data presented Thursday to the Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees.

    The pension fund — managed by the KRS board within the Kentucky Employees Retirement System — had about $2 billion in assets and $15.6 billion in liabilities on June 30, actuarial advisers told the trustees for their annual update.

    The KERS (Non Hazardous) fund is considered one of the nation’s worst-off public pension funds, largely due to many years of inadequate contributions by state leaders and unreasonable expectations about investment returns and payroll growth.
    Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politi...#storylink=cpy

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    Default Re: Kentucky House panel shoots down two Senate bills opposed by Kentucky unions

    The PBS Frontline episode titled The Pension Gamble

    I have another thread going with this because of the Wall St. issues but a copy really belongs in this thread too.

    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/f...ension-gamble/

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    Default Re: Kentucky House panel shoots down two Senate bills opposed by Kentucky unions

    Right-to-work law upheld by Kentucky Supreme Court


    https://www.courier-journal.com/stor...aUuxI6KmXA4SeM

    The Kentucky Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to Kentucky's right-to-work law, which was passed in 2017 by a Republican-controlled legislature and drew fierce opposition from labor unions.

    In a 4-3 decision, the high court affirmed Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate's ruling in January when he dismissed a challenge by labor unions to the law, which prohibits any requirement that a worker pays union dues as a condition for holding a job.

    Elections have consequences.
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    Default Re: Kentucky House panel shoots down two Senate bills opposed by Kentucky unions

    Kentucky union rate falls further in second year of right to work
    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The percentage of Kentucky workers belonging to unions declined again in 2018, the second year of the state’s right-to-work environment.

    Federal statistics released Friday show 8.9 percent of Kentucky workers belonged to unions last year, down from 9.6 percent in 2017.

    For the second year, the decline in the Bluegrass State was sharper than in the nation as a whole. The union membership in the U.S. dropped from 10.7 percent in 2017 to 10.5 percent in 2018.
    https://www.wdrb.com/in-depth/kentuc...c1e97c994.html

 

 
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