West Virginia AFL-CIO President Kenny Perdue said he is extremely grateful to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin for vetoing both Senate Bill 1, commonly known as “Right to Work,” and House Bill 4005, repeal of state Prevailing Wage.
“On behalf of 140,000 hard-working men and women represented by the West Virginia AFL-CIO, I would like to thank Governor Tomblin for seeing through the false promises offered by supporters of both these bills,” Perdue said. “Rather than endorsing legislation that only serves out-of-state corporate interests, the Governor stood up for West Virginia working families.”
As the veto message on SB 1 is received by the Legislature, Perdue noted that once again, negative economic news is emerging from a Right-to-Work state. On Wednesday, Carrier announced that it is shifting manufacturing operations of two Indiana plants to Mexico, which will cost about 2,100 workers their jobs. Indiana became a Right to Work state in 2012.
“We continually provide examples from other Right to Work states showing the law lowers wages, makes workplaces less safe, and does absolutely nothing to create jobs while inserting government into private business negotiations. But these facts are ignored, because the real goal behind Right to Work is to weaken unions, pure and simple,” Perdue said. “Yet just last week, we released Public Policy Polling results showing unions to be ‘wildly popular’ among West Virginians -- our residents don’t want unions weakened.”
Steve White, Director of West Virginia Affiliated Construction Trades, said repealing the Prevailing Wage means we’re taking wages from 30,000 West Virginia construction workers and giving them to out-of-area contractors and their imported workers.
“Not only does repeal of prevailing wage lower wages for working families, it hurts West Virginia contractors and other employers too,” White said. “More than 100 contractors have sent letters to lawmakers stating that abolishing the Prevailing Wage would put West Virginia companies out of business.”
Perdue added, “It is our hope that the legislators who voted in favor of Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 4005 will reconsider, and vote to uphold the Governor’s vetoes.”