December 23, 2014
By Neal Tepel, LaborPress Editorial
Washington, DC – Several Kentucky counties are moving forward passing local 'Right to Work' legislation. Republicans in Kentucky are engaging in a tactic that could spread across the country and labor leaders are paying very close attention.
On December 8, 2014, Warren County, home to the General Motors factory that builds Chevrolet Corvettes, became the first county in Kentucky to pass a local 'Right to Work' ordinance 5-1. Although the bill requires two additional votes before taking effect, the legislation is expected to pass.
With the news of the Warren County vote spreading across the nation, labor leaders from New York to California are closely eyeing the new Republican strategy aimed at crippling labor unions.
Union supporters in Ohio,Wisconsin, New Mexico and West Virginia have all recently reported a growing movement towards 'Right to Work' initiatives. In West Virginia, Republicans have taken control of both houses of the state legislature for the first time in nearly a century and currently have enough votes to override a gubernatorial veto. New Mexico’s state legislators maintain they have enough votes to pass a 'Right to Work' bill.
By stripping workers of their legal rights and due process, business owners would be free to lower employee pay, reduce worker benefits and ignore worker rights. The Republican 'Right To Work' strategy is clear: eliminate unions and reduce worker protections.