Tulsa judge upholds Oklahoma's right-to-work law

Tuesday, July 22nd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tulsa-AP) -- State Labor Commissioner Brenda Reneau Wynn says a Tulsa County judge's decision upholding Oklahoma's right-to-work law was ``just and fair.''

Judge David Peterson's ruling Tuesday allows those who challenged the law and lost to quickly appeal the case to the state Supreme Court. Peterson says disputes over the law will be best decided by the court's nine judges.

But Peterson did express concerns that the law unfairly requires unions to represent workers who don't pay union dues.

The Eastern Oklahoma Building and Construction Trades Council sued in May to have the law declared unconstitutional. The defendant is electrical contractor Ralph Pitts.

Voters passed right-to-work in September 2001. The constitutional amendment outlaws union contracts requiring workers to pay dues.

A federal appeals court has asked the state Supreme Court for an opinion on a separate lawsuit.

Wynn says she's confident the Oklahoma Supreme Court will affirm Peterson's decision and side with Oklahoma voters.