January 12, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Charleston,W- With Republicans in the West Virginia legislature planning to introduce so-called “right to work” legislation this month, the state’s leading newspaper came out swinging against it.
“It might be good marketing by out-of-state political interests, but it’s not good policy,” the Charleston Gazette-Mail wrote in a Jan. 7 editorial. Workplace deaths are 54% higher in “right to work” states, the editorial noted, while employee earnings are $6,000 a year lower, and seven of the 10 states with the highest unemployment rates are “right to work.” “What is the problem that ‘right to work’ is supposed to cure? It appears to be having any union workers in the state at all,” the paper concluded. “It sounds like a cure that is worse than the disease, a prescription to drive down wages everywhere and make it less likely that injured workers will report problems before they become fatalities. Who needs more of that?” Read more