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UPDATE: West Virginia to become 26th right-to-work state

(WYMT)
Published: Feb. 4, 2016 at 4:44 PM EST
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UPDATE 2/12/16

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia is set to become the 26th right-to-work state.

In House and Senate party-line votes Friday, lawmakers rebuked Thursday's veto by Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. Some House Republicans voted no.

A simple majority was required.

So-called "right to work" states prohibit companies from requiring employees to pay union dues as a condition of employment. Unions are still required to represent every worker. The law applies to new collective bargaining agreements.

Democrats said right to work undermines unions without clear benefit. Republicans contended that a new path is needed for the suffering state, and contended that right to work would drive in business.

In his veto, Tomblin wrote that right to work would produce little-to-no economic growth and could lower wages.

The law becomes effective July 1.


UPDATE 2/11/16

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has vetoed Senate Bill 1, establishing the West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act, also known as the right to work.

"Foremost, I dispute that West Virginia needs a right-to-work law. The issue of right to work has been discussed for a number of years, but I have never had a company cite right to work as a barrier to relocating to West Virginia. We do not lack prospects. Our issues are best addressed by improving our workforce and creating new development opportunities. Since becoming governor in 2010, West Virginia has welcomed more than $10 billion in new investments and expansion projects. I do not believe West Virginia needs a right-to-work law, a law that would lead to little if any economy growth and may lower the wages of West Virginia workers."

The bill prohibits companies from requiring employees to pay union dues as a condition of employment. Unions are still required to represent every worker.


UPDATE 2/4/16 @ 10:06 p.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Following a vote that will send right-to-work legislation to West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's desk, the Democratic governor issued this statement:

“I remain committed to growing West Virginia’s economy, but I do not believe right-to-work legislation is the best way to do that.

“We can continue to improve our state’s business climate by strengthening our workforce, combating substance abuse and creating new sites for development, all of which continue to be my top priorities in the coming year. I have submitted proposals to address these issues, and I urge the Legislature to consider them during the session.

“I will veto the legislation passed today, which received bipartisan opposition but only partisan support.”

The bill prohibits companies from requiring employees to pay union dues as a condition of employment. Unions are still required to represent every worker.

ORIGINAL STORY

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The Republican-led Legislature has cleared a push to make West Virginia the 26th right-to-work state.

The House passed the bill opposed by unions Thursday by a 54-46 margin, with several Republicans voting no.

The Senate must approve the amended bill to send it to Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for a likely veto. The bill previously passed the Senate 17-16 along party lines.

Republicans have veto-proof majorities, and would likely override Tomblin's disapproval.

The bill prohibits companies from requiring employees to pay union dues as a condition of employment. Unions are still required to represent every worker.

Democrats said the bill undermines unions without clear benefit, and feared lower wages. Republicans said a new path is needed for the suffering state, and contended that the bill would drive in business.