A War Of Words In West Virginia
A political advocacy group is calling out the leadership of a West Virginia union for attacking a new right-to-work proposal.
Since the midterm election, the Republican majority within the state government has been proposing ideas to help improve the struggling economy. Among these ideas is a right-to-work bill which was introduced Tuesday. However, leadership within the local AFL-CIO quickly condemned the idea with some fairly harsh words.
If the bill passes, West Virginia will become the 25th state to outlaw forced unionization as a condition of employment.
“They’re f—ing liars,” West Virginia AFL-CIO president Kenny Perdue told the Charleston Daily Mail.
“Workplace freedom is a line of BS,” he continued. “It has nothing to do with workplace freedom. It’s employer freedom to do at will what they want to do to employees — that’s all it is.”
Later on, during an interview on Metro News, Perdue argued, “The law is already there. The law already says that you don’t have to be a union member.”
“What Right To Work does is force the union that is in there, which the union is there because the majority of them voted, the employer has accepted that through NLRB election, but that person that comes in there can sit back and get the benefits of all that and not pay the union dues,” Perdue concluded.
The West Virginia chapter of Americans for Prosperity responded to Perdue’s comments calling them unproductive and not based in fact.
“You have to represent your people, no matter who is in charge,” AFP State Director, Wendy McCuskey, tells The Daily Caller News Foundation.
McCuskey argues that name calling, using foul language and misrepresenting what the law actually entails only serves to burn bridges with the legislature and the people Perdue is supposed to represent.
“The people went to the polls and flipped the entire state,” McCuskey said. “I think that means people want change.”
“He says West Virginia is prosperous,” McCuskey argues. “West Virginia does not have a great economy.”
“He’s not taking it very seriously,” she went onto say. “But we have an opportunity to become prosperous.”
According to a report by Market Watch, West Virginia is the only state where less than half its civilians work.
The report detailed, “State data compiled by the Labor Department shows that West Virginia’s civilian labor participation rate has fallen to 49.8%, from 50% in October. The national rate in December was 62.7%.”
“We have great people,” McCuskey added. “They want to work.”
The local AFL-CIO however disagrees that the law would improve the state economically and that it is actually a violation of free market principles which many of the right support.
“We believe that state government should play no role in telling small businesses and their employees how they are allowed to negotiate with each other,” a spokesman for the local AFL-CIO told TheDCNF.
“This basic intrusion by government on the free market is something that every Republican who claims to want to create jobs should be against,” he continued. “Especially since all available data shows that 7 of the 10 states with the highest unemployment rates have passed these laws and that the effect has been to take over $5,000 out of the salaries of folks who have to live in those states.”
“Clearly they don’t want any change in West Virginia,” McCuskey concluded. “I don’t think this is the sort of thing the people he represents want to see.”
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