Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Know the Truth about Right-to-Work

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Know the Truth about Right-to-Work

Article excerpt

Today at the State Capitol in Charleston I will join scores of Teamsters, union members and everyday West Virginians to let lawmakers know that approving so-called right-to-work is no way to improve the state's economic woes. Make no mistake, West Virginia's economy is extremely fragile and struggling. Our state is heavily dependent on coal production and with demand and pricings falling - things outside our control - we are in for a continued rough ride. State officials are projecting that nearly 80 percent of this year's budget deficit is from lost coal-tax revenue. What are our legislators doing about it?

The first item on their political agenda is to pass RTW legislation that they purport will bring the Mountain State up from the bottom rung of the ladder on population growth, job creation, wage levels and education attainment to the top. But as the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Right-to-work won't create jobs. It is only an attack on unions, plain and simple, and union jobs that provide fair wages and benefits to workers. West Virginians deserve to hear the truth and they aren't getting it from our Senate or House leadership and certainly not from the Chamber of Commerce.

RTW does NOT create jobs or help the economy. Oklahoma passed RTW in 2001 with the promise of large increases in the number of new companies and jobs coming into the state. A 2015 study of what happened in Oklahoma after passing RTW concluded there were no significant effects on job growth or wages.

A spokesman for the national right-to-work committee admitted in an interview during Wisconsin's RTW debate that "we're not purporting to prove that right-to-work produces superior economic performance.

RTW does NOT increase wages. The most rigorous academic studies show the wages are $1,500 lower for similar employees in RTW states compared to non-RTW states.

RTW does NOT attract business. Area Development, a site selection magazine that regularly surveys manufacturers on important factors for location decisions, has never had RTW legislation in their top 10. …

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