Idaho Senate Votes Against Union
(AP) - A Republican-dominated Senate committee aims to forbid Idaho state and local government from requiring union labor on public works projects. Friday's party-line Senate State Affairs Committee vote came despite warnings from union attorney James Piotrowski, who contends this bill would have the same effect as one passed in 2011: Legal costs for taxpayers - and defeat in federal court.
In January, U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill ruled a similar 2011 law was illegal. Piotrowski added no such "project labor agreements" have ever been struck by Idaho governments, so the measure is unnecessary, too. Idaho is appealing Winmill's ruling, but New Plymouth Sen. Monty Pearce is pushing this new measure, contending it remedies legal concerns. Behind him, Pearce has building-industry backers who complain unions around the country are intimidating local governments.