(CHARLESTON, W.Va.) – The Teamsters Union will file a lawsuit this week against the West Virginia State Senate accusing Senate leaders of concealing email communications with a professor at West Virginia University (WVU) concerning right-to-work (RTW) legislation.
The Teamsters are concerned that legislative supporters of the pending right-to-work legislation used state money to fund a study that was intended to provide cover for their anti-worker objectives, rather than independently considering the impact on the West Virginia economy or the welfare of the average citizen.
Senate leaders who advocated for the passage of right to work have failed to provide the correspondence, despite numerous requests by the Teamsters Union since November for the release of this public information.
The lawsuit alleges Senate leadership violated the Freedom of Information Act in failing to release the content of the redacted emails between Senate Committee personnel and Prof. John Deskins.
“The people of West Virginia have the right to know what their legislators are hiding. Why won’t Senate leadership turn over these emails?,” said Ken Hall, Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer and President of Teamsters Local 175 in South Charleston, W.Va. “The people of West Virginia deserve to know about communications between our flagship public university and elected political leaders.”
As previously announced, the Teamsters will officially file a FOIA lawsuit against WVU later this week over the redacted emails.
Senate lawmakers voted last week, 17-16, to pass an amended right to work bill. The bill is on Gov. Tomblin’s desk and he has said that he will veto the legislation. The Legislature requires only a simple majority to override the governor’s veto.
RTW laws weaken a union’s ability to help workers bargain with their employers for better wages, benefits and working conditions by allowing non-members the benefits of a union contract without paying any of the cost.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.