Teamsters Union Wins Key Battle In Fight Against Pivotal University Study


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The Teamsters union was granted court permission Tuesday to review emails related to what it believes is a biased right-to-work study out of West Virginia University.

The university released its study in November after a request from West Virginia lawmakers. The Republicans majority in the legislature cited the study numerous times before eventually enacting a right-to-work law. The Teamsters believe the study may have been biased in favor of the policy and filed a lawsuit Feb. 3 to get email correspondence between lawmakers and the university.

“We will not stop until all of the facts have seen the light of day and the public has all of the information available concerning how this process was carried out,” Teamsters Attorney Luke Farley said in a statement.

The Teamsters accused the university of violating the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to release the emails in full. University Prof. John Deskins conducted the study after a request from the Senate. Senate President Bill Cole and House Speaker Tim Armstead are both supporters of the policy. Deskins told The Daily Caller News Foundation he is not commenting on the matter at the moment.

“This particular ruling applied only to the Teamsters suit against West Virginia University,” a Senate spokeswoman told TheDCNF. “The West Virginia Senate has already fully complied with the Teamsters FOIA request that was previously sent to the Senate. To clarify, there were no direct emails between the Senate President and WVU regarding the study.”

West Virginia became a right-to-work state Feb. 12 after lawmakers were able to override a veto by Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. The policy outlaws mandatory union dues or fees as a condition of employment. The policy has been a Republican priority since the party secured the legislature in November 2014.

Those in support of the policy argue it could help reverse decades of bad economic policies enacted under previous Democratic control. Critics, however, dispute the claim by noting the policy makes it much more difficult for workers to advocate for themselves.

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