oklahoma employmentoklahoma employmentCHARLESTON -- Workers from Oklahoma and Virginia visited Charleston today to talk about how so-called “Right to Work” laws hurt economies, lower wages, impair worker safety and eliminate jobs.

“We’ve presented countless facts and figures which show that a Right to Work law does nothing to help West Virginia’s economy, and instead would be harmful to West Virginia working families, but the rhetoric from the other side has been strong,” West Virginia AFL-CIO President Kenny Perdue said. “We thought it was time West Virginians hear from working people who have experienced the damage Right to Work causes.”

Jesse Isbell of Oklahoma City lost his job of 36 years with Bridgestone Tire Plant, five years after the state of Oklahoma passed a Right to Work law.

Workers from “right to work” states to share experiences with anti-worker law

CHARLESTON, WV – Workers from Oklahoma and Virginia will be in Charleston on Wednesday to share their experiences with their states’ “right to work” law.  Oklahoma adopted its “right to work” law in 2001 and Virginia adopted the policy in 1947.  Workers from each state will discuss how this government intervention between working people and their employers unnecessarily hurts economies, lowers wages, impairs worker safety and eliminates jobs. 

For example, since Oklahoma passed the law in 2001, the number of new companies relocating into the state has decreased by one-third and the number of manufacturing jobs in the state has fallen concurrently by one-third, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Many large corporations have relocated their facilities and operations in other countries and other states.  Bridgestone Tire, one such company, is the former employer of one of the workers who will be sharing his experience.  

What: Press Conference to Highlight Workers’ Real World Experience with a “Right to Work” Law

Who: Workers from Oklahoma and Virginia who have been impacted by their states’ “right to work” laws and a West Virginia economist who has analyzed various data on “right to work” policies. 

Where: Room 252, State Capitol Main Building, (located along hallway North of the House Chamber)

When: Wednesday, January 13, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

Participants in the press conference will be available afterward for interviews.  Please contact Stacey Ruckle (304.553.2833, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to schedule one-on-one interviews. 

The following is a statement from West Virginia AFL-CIO President Kenny Perdue regarding the Senate vacancy resulting from Daniel Hall’s recent resignation:

“The vacancy in the state’s Ninth Senatorial District has created a unique situation that merits close consideration by our state Supreme Court. Given the fact that Daniel Hall changed his party affiliation mid-term, and there are conflicting interpretations of the state code as to how the vacancy should be filled, there is a critical need for clarification. It is my hope that the court will quickly determine how best to ensure the appointment reflects the will of the voters so that the full Senate can turn its attention to the issues that truly matter to West Virginia working families.”   

The West Virginia AFL-CIO is currently exploring legal options in response to West Virginia Radio Corporation’s decision to pull three paid radio advertisements providing facts surrounding the so-called “Right to Work” law being touted by the legislative leadership.

“Since West Virginia Radio Corporation’s choice to pull our ‘Right to Work’ is Wrong for West Virginia ads off the air without explanation was mentioned in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, we’ve received a lot of questions,” West Virginia AFL-CIO President Kenny Perdue said. “I am at a loss to explain it, but absent any response from the company other than a one-sentence email that said the ads are ‘inflammatory,’ I have to assume the decision was handed down by top management of the West Virginia Radio Corporation, which is headed by Chairman John Raese, a wealthy Republican politician who has long advocated for a ‘Right to Work’ law.”

The following is a statement from West Virginia AFL-CIO President Kenny Perdue regarding the jury verdict in the case of Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship:

“For far too long, West Virginia workers have suffered at the hands of careless employers who are more concerned about making money than they are about the safety and well being of their employees. Don Blankenship’s conviction of conspiring to violate mine safety regulations sends a powerful message to corporate CEOs that they will be held accountable for their actions.”

 

During a presentation today by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s office honoring Kids’ Chance of West Virginia for providing scholarships to children of West Virginia parents who have suffered a serious workplace injury or death, West Virginia AFL-CIO President Kenny Perdue will attend and present a $15,000 donation to the nonprofit organization.

What:  Ceremony Honoring Kids’ Chance of West Virginia, Check Presentation

When:  3:30 pm, Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Where: Governor’s Press Conference Room, WV Secretary of State’s Office