© 2021 Boise State Public Radio

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact us at boisestatepublicradio@boisestate.edu or call (208) 426-3663.
NPR in Idaho
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Law & Justice

Idaho's 'Right-To-Work' Law Faces Court Challenge On Fees

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 that 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.