Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Right-to-Work Key to States Future ; Economic Reforms Meant to Improve

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Right-to-Work Key to States Future ; Economic Reforms Meant to Improve

Article excerpt

There has been much controversy surrounding the passage of West Virginias Workplace Freedom Act, commonly referred to as right-to- work legislation. In fact, based on this one particular issue, many strident big-labor bosses have vowed to defeat any legislator who voted in favor of this important initiative.

While I admire and encourage the involvement of all informed citizens in the political process, I respectfully disagree with these union bosses and submit that right-to-work is a vital and necessary component in the effort to transform West Virginia into a prosperous, job-producing state.

To understand the importance of this issue, it is necessary to consider the historically poor performance of West Virginias economy and to examine the negative impact that the status quo has had on West Virginia working families.

A few key statistics illustrate how important reforms like the Workplace Freedom Act are for our future:

West Virginia has lost thousands of jobs since 2007, and is presently one of the worst states in the nation in terms of job growth;

West Virginia ranks second worst in the nation in per capita personal income;

West Virginia is the only state to have a workforce participation rate below 50 percent, meaning that less than half of our states citizens are working or looking for work.

West Virginia is losing population faster than any state. We are the only state to have lost overall population since 1950.

It is abundantly clear the status quo is hurting working families. These horrible statistics are a clear indication of the failed policies of the past and of the need for bold economic reforms to move our state forward.

Many labor leaders want to defend a system that has produced these poor results for its workers. Far too often, they use scare tactics to accuse pro-growth, pro-job legislators of being against working families. …

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