National Right To Work Foundation files amicus brief defending W.Va. law

By Chris Dickerson | Aug 8, 2016

CHARLESTON – The National Right to Work Foundation has filed an amicus brief in defense of West Virginia’s recently-enacted Right to Work law.

The brief was served and will be filed in Kanawha Circuit Court in response to lawsuits filed by 10 state unions. The brief debunks the union bosses’ claim that West Virginia’s Right to Work law is somehow different than the other 25 state Right to Work Laws which have withstood intense legal scrutiny for over 60 years, having never been struck down by a federal court or a state appellate court.

According to the group, the brief also responds to "another dubious argument made by union lawyers that Right to Work laws unconstitutionally force union officials to 'represent' nonunion employees without compensation."

The brief notes that the National Labor Relations Act compensates unions by granting them workplace power to impose a one-size-fits-all union contract on all employees – union and nonunion alike – in a union-controlled bargaining unit.

The foundation says the union lawyers’ argument already has been rejected by a Federal Court of Appeals and the Indiana Supreme Court when it was raised in cases involving Indiana’s Right to Work law.

“West Virginia union bosses are asking the Kanawha Circuit Court to reject over 60 years of legal precedent,” Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, said in a press release. “West Virginia’s Right to Work law should not be overturned on the basis of an outrageous and rejected legal theory advanced by union lawyers, who are attempting to create a constitutional ‘right’ for union bosses to extort money from workers forced to accept unions’ so-called representation.”

The National Right to Work Foundation is a charitable organization that provides free legal assistance to employees nationwide. It says it has a long history of successfully defending Right to Work laws in state and federal court, most recently in Indiana and Michigan. Foundation attorneys have also filed briefs in Wisconsin in response to union lawsuits challenging that states recently-enacted law.

After the West Virginia Legislature overrode Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto and became the 26th Right to work state on Feb. 4, the National Right to Work Foundation announced an offer of free legal aid to any employees seeking to assert their rights under the new law.

The Foundation also created a special task force to defend the West Virginia law, which went into full effect July 1, from any Big Labor legal challenges

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