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.”

Each of the ads, which can be heard at  http://wvaflcio.org/right-to-work.html , touch on three different aspects of “Right to Work:”

* A 54 percent increase in workplace injury and death in states with “Right to Work” laws

* Lower wages, as much as $6,000 lower, in states that have adopted “Right to Work” laws

* The fact that such a law is government interference in employer-employee negotiations.

As noted on the West Virginia AFL-CIO website, the statistics detailed in the ads are derived from Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other economic studies. The ads are currently running on stations statewide that are outside the West Virginia Radio Corporation network.

“If the company executives had some question about the content of the ads, they should have contacted us – that’s the normal practice in communications advertising,” Perdue said. “Instead, the company started running the ads, then after about a week of airing them, suddenly ‘declined’ to run all three of them.”

“It’s very odd.”

Perdue said he is in discussions with the West Virginia AFL-CIO’s attorney about the possibility of seeking a legal remedy.

“Out-of-state corporations and interest groups are pouring money into paid advertisements in West Virginia that promote a ‘Right to Work’ law by spreading misinformation, and they are contributing thousands to the politicians who will support it,” Perdue noted. “We’re working to get the truth out there through our own advertisements, exercising our free speech rights, and we’re effectively banned from the airwaves in a major portion of the state.” 

* Charleston Gazette-Mail story: http://goo.gl/jGdC6X