Unions

Obama’s Right to Work

2/18/16
from The Wall Street Journal,
2/15/16:

West Virginia becomes the 26th right-to-work state.

President Obama’s war on coal has cost thousands of high-paying union jobs, and now it has cost Big Labor again in lost political clout. On Friday West Virginia became the 26th right-to-work state that lets workers decide for themselves whether to join a union.

Republicans voted to override Democratic Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto, 18-16 in the Senate and 54-43 in the House. They also overrode his veto of a law repealing prevailing-wage requirements. (The Mountaineer State requires only a simple majority for an override.) West Virginia Democrats can thank Mr. Obama’s war on fossil fuels, which has kept the state’s economy down and its politics moving to the right. The state’s unemployment rate is 6.3%, compared to 4.9% nationwide. Right to work isn’t a panacea, but it can help. Michigan adopted right to work in 2012, and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy reports that state incomes have since risen faster than the national average and state job growth is the 16th best. The auto comeback explains some of that progress, but many U.S. and foreign companies won’t even consider locating a plant in a state without a right-to-work statute. Union leaders used to seek support on both sides of the aisle, but in recent years they have put progressive solidarity above worker well-being. Right-to work-laws are one result.

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