On Wednesday, August 10, a West Virginia judge issued a temporary injunction blocking the state’s enforcement of its new right-to-work law. The law, known as the Workplace Freedom Act, just took effect on July 1 and prohibits union security clauses–i.e., collective bargaining provisions that require all unit employees to pay union dues. West Virginia was the 26th state to enact a “right-to-work” statute.
The AFL-CIO and a coalition of other unions are challenging the statute on the ground that it violates the West Virginia constitution. The judge found that the challengers were able to show that the statute could harm workers, and was also concerned by the fact that the statute included criminal penalties. The judge indicated that a decision on whether to permanently enjoin the statute could come within the next few months, but the state representatives asserted that they intend to appeal Judge Bailey’s ruling.