Idaho's Right-to-Work law faces court challenge on fees

Posted at 12:20 PM, Sep 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-07 14:20:21-04

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Non-union workers in Idaho could be required to pay some fees to the unions that represent them -- if a lawsuit pending in federal court succeeds.

The Spokesman-Review reports the Idaho Attorney General's office has filed a motion asking the federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

Idaho is one of 26 states with so-called "right-to-work" laws, which forbid requiring union membership as a condition of employment. The lawsuit argues that it's unconstitutional to require unions to spend money and time representing non-members, while also forbidding any fees. It's one of several such lawsuits pending in three states.

The union that filed the lawsuit is based in Spokane, but represents a locomotive plant in Boise with 400 workers. According to the lawsuit, just 32 percent of the workers at MotivePower are dues-paying union members, but the union still negotiates contracts for all 400 employees.