HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (CN) – Union firefighters have joined teachers in suing Alabama, challenging the constitutionality of an anti-union law that former Gov. Bob Riley pushed through in a special session as a lame duck. The union claim Riley called the session “to retaliate against such public employee unions and their members”.
The International Association of Firefighters and its locals joined with the American Federation of Teachers and its locals in suing the new governor, Robert Bentley, and other top state officials, including the attorney general and state superintendent of education.
Riley called the special session under the guise of “ethics reform,” and rammed through passage of Act No. 2010-761, which prohibits union from allowing automatic payroll deductions for dues, and makes union members criminally liable if their dues or PAC contributions are used for “phone calling for any political purpose,” or “distributing political literature of any type,” the unions say, citing language of the bill’s subsection (b).
It is the second recent constitutional challenge to the bill, and closely tracks the language of the first complaint. To see Courthouse News’ report on that lawsuit, click on the “challenge” link.