Appeals court upholds local ‘right-to-work’ laws in Kentucky

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A federal appeals court says two Kentucky counties can pass a law prohibiting companies from requiring its workers to join a labor union.

The decision overturns a lower court ruling that overturned the laws in Hardin and Warren counties. Kentucky AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan said his organization plans to appeal.

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Kentucky is the only southern state that does not have a so-called “right-to-work” law. They say the law would act as an incentive for companies looking to locate in the state. But Democrats and labor unions oppose the law, saying it would weaken their bargaining power and lead to lower wages and benefits.

Kentucky’s Democratic-controlled House of Representatives has blocked a right-to-work law at the state level. But Republicans will have a majority when the legislature convenes in January.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.