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Ninth District rules in favor of Spokane Transit Authority worker's union

The Ninth District ruled that the STA can't reject an ad that the union tried to run in an effort to recruit people such as rideshare drivers.
Spokane Transit

SPOKANE, Wash. — The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth District ruled in favor of a local union representing Spokane Transit Authority workers in a case involving a union advertisement on city buses.

According to a press release from the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1015, which is the Spokane branch, the court ruled that the STA violated the First Amendment in rejecting an advertisement recruiting people such as rideshare drivers.

The ad was blocked by the STA on the grounds that it addressed a "public issue," according to the ATU. The ad in question read "Do you drive: Uber? Lyft? Charger Bus? School Bus? You have the Right to Organize!" according to the ATU.

ATU Local 1015 President Thomas Leighty said the union represents all non-management STA employees, as well as employees of Pullman Transit and Moses Lakes' Grant Transit Authority.

The Ninth District Court upheld a decision from the District Court of the Eastern District of Washington, which ruled that "STA unreasonable rejected the ad in violation of ATU First Amendment rights."

The STA declined to comment on the ruling.

Judge Richard A. Paez wrote the court's opinion.

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