The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals is set to hear arguments on whether an injunction halting Senate Bill 1 should be upheld on September 5… one day after Labor Day.
The injunction, which was put in place last August following a controversial decision by the Senate to override a veto on the bill and begin implementation, is the latest development in the long-running battle over Right to Work in West Virginia.
Originally introduced in early 2016, SB1 overcame Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto of the bill and went into effect July 1. Shortly after, Kanawha Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey issued a preliminary injunction, halting implementation and leaving the final decision to the Supreme Court.
“West Virginia has one last chance to avoid a major attack on their workforce,” said Richard Dalton, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 in nearby Ohio. “Right to Work isn’t as successful as politicians lead voters and workers to believe. Instead of helping local industries, it slows growth while giving more power to the employers.”
Right to Work has been the subject of many debates as efforts to enact laws have increased. Last year, pro-labor organizations and political action committees spent millions of dollars attacking leaders who support Right to Work legislation. According to state grassroots campaign reports, their outreach was extensive. The efforts involved countless TV, radio, direct mail and internet ads; not to mention a plethora of phone calls to constituents.
The legislation, which leaves union membership up to employees, has long been a controversial topic due to the conflicting beliefs about the movement’s true intentions. Labor leaders have long maintained that the legislation is intended to kill unions and ultimately harm workers.
Advocates cite states like North Carolina, Right to Work member for over 60 years, as a success story, while critics point to surrounding states who often show better job growth, higher wages and safer work conditions. Studies have also shown Right to Work to hurt job markets, as well as leave employees worse off when unions eventually become financially crippled.
“The workers and voters need to make their voices heard,” said Dalton. “We know Right to Work is bad for business and bad for workers, and we need to make sure the judges and politicians do too.”
For more information on Right to Work in Ohio, visit: http://protectohiosmiddleclass.org
SOURCE: Keep Ohio's Heritage
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