Another article on this topic was also posted in the W. Virginia thread recently.

Working families in West Virginia won a much-needed victory last week when Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey declared key portions of the state’s “right-to-work” law unconstitutional, more than two years after the anti-worker legislation was passed.

Bailey ruled the falsely-named Workplace Freedom Act unconstitutional because it allows workers to refuse to pay dues even though the union must still represent those workers. Unions are required to represent workers at union work sites whether workers are union members or not. Bailey rightly explained that the law “would take unions’ property without any compensation.”

The Teamsters had always contended that the RTW bill passed during the 2016 legislative session was unconstitutional. The proposal was nothing more than an attack on W.Va. workers’ wages, benefits and working conditions.

Bailey wrote that “membership is the lifeblood of any union,” and forcing unions to provide the same services to all workers, whether union members or not, “seriously hampers the unions’ ability to recruit new members and retain old ones,” and amounts to “giving free riders something for nothing.” The Teamsters couldn’t agree more.

The Teamsters filed the lawsuit in August 2016 because the union knew the law violated the rights of West Virginia workers. It also knew that RTW is not about “freedom of choice,” it is about weakening and ultimately destroying the only movement that defends working people on the job—the union movement.