Labor unions challenging KY's right-to-work law

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) -- The Kentucky State AFL-CIO and Teamsters Local 89 filed a lawsuit in Franklin County Circuit Court in Frankfort Thursday asking a judge to block the law's enforcement. The measure, enacted in January, bans labor unions from collecting mandatory dues from employees they represent in collective bargaining.

The suit was filed in Franklin County Circuit Court in Frankfort. It claims the law violates the Kentucky Constitution.

Defendants are Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey. Bevin's spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The right-to-work law won final passage over the shouts of hundreds of protesters. It was one of several Republican priorities passed during the first week of the legislative session.

Republicans say right-to-work laws create jobs. Democrats say the laws weaken labor unions.

Top Kentucky Republicans are expressing confidence the law will withstand the court challenge from organized labor.

Gov. Matt Bevin's spokeswoman, Amanda Stamper, calls it a "frivolous lawsuit" that threatens to rob Kentucky families of high-paying job opportunities.

The legislature's top two Republicans -- House Speaker Jeff Hoover and Senate President Robert Stivers -- say they think the law is on sound constitutional ground.