Unions rejoice after voters reject Right to Work amendment in Virginia

Constitutional Amendment defeated by more than two million “Old Dominion” voters
(PR NewsChannel) / November 17, 2016 / RICHMOND, Va. 

Seal_of_West_Virginia.svgAfter an up and down election day, labor unions in Virginia could breathe a sigh of relief after voters rejected a ballot initiative that would have engraved the state’s Right to Work law into their constitution.

Already one of 26 states with Right to Work laws in effect, state labor supporters campaigned hard against the proposed amendment which lost by roughly 5 percent.

“It’s exciting to see that voters are open to a possible future without Right to Work in Virginia,” says Richard Dalton, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18. “Making the legislation a permanent fixture in the state would have had a lasting negative impact on an untold number of workers in the state.”

Originally passed in 1947, Right to Work laws have long been a way of life for Virginia’s workforce. Supporters of the proposed amendment argue that no one should be forced to pay dues as a condition of employment. They also believed the amendment would attract additional business because of the seemingly permanent nature of the state’s Right to Work status.

On the other side of the battle, opponents of Right to Work measures claim that the laws lead to lower wages, decreased benefits and inferior working conditions, issues that unions have fought long and hard to improve for workers.

“We’re happy that Virginians voted against furthering the Right to Work agenda; however, the overall Right to Work status in the state hasn’t changed,” says Dalton. “There is still a lot of work to be done.”

Right to Work laws allow individuals in certain industries to operate without paying the necessary union dues. Business aligned proponents of such laws claim that they decrease unemployment while opponents assert that the laws drive wages down and force hard working families into poverty.

In addition to being called “Right to Work,” similar legislation has used misleading names such as “Workplace Freedom” in the past.

For more information on Right to Work in Ohio, visit: http://protectohiosmiddleclass.org

Direct link:  https://prnewschannel.com/2016/11/17/unions-rejoice-after-voters-reject-right-to-work-amendment-in-virginia/

SOURCE:  Keep Ohio's Heritage

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