Warren County in Kentucky became the first right-to-work county in the United States after a vote on Friday.
The vote was part of a broader campaign against mandatory union membership and union dues payment. That had been going on for some time at the state level, but the group Check My Choice has started pushing the issue at the county level.
County officials confirmed to The Daily Caller News Foundation the right-to-work measure passed with a 5-to-1 vote.
Though Warren is the first to officially adopt the policy on the county level, Simpson County and Fulton County have already granted preliminary approval for similar policies. Both counties will vote on final approval by the end of the month. Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul has noted his support for the reforms.
Brent Yessin, an attorney for My Check My Choice, told TheDCNF, “It is identical to a state right-to-work law but applied to the county level.”
Yessin explains that My Check My Choice is hoping to get more counties to pass right-to-work laws seeing such a policy as “an expansion of employee rights.”
The group expects several more counties to vote on whether to grant preliminary approval for the policy in the months ahead. They are also looking to move beyond Kentucky to counties in other states.
“It will be enacted by the end of the year in 2 or 3 counties,” Yessin noted. “It will be in 8 or 10 counties by the end of January.”
With the unique approach of focusing on counties as opposed to whole states or the country, My Check My Choice has yet to face a significant opposition from labor unions and other right-to-work foes. However, with a recent opinion issued by the Kentucky attorney general’s office, it looks likely the initiative will eventually face legal challenges.
The opinion, which was written by Assistant Attorney General Matt James, argued, “Local governments have no power to enact right-to-work ordinances” because they are preempted by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
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