West Virginia State Senate President Bill Cole (R), says he considers two things when debating a bill: "Ask two simple questions when we are considering legislation. Is it good for West Virginia? And is it good for West Virginians?"
Those questions are at the heart of the right-to work debate. In three weeks, the state legislature will begin considering a bill that could affect thousands of workers in the Mountain State. Right-to-Work legislation means workers could "opt out" of joining labor unions. Labor leaders say that will only lead, to lower pay.
Ken Hall, President, WV Teamsters "Enough is enough. We need to be looking out for the people who work for a living; who pay taxes in this state; and who spend their money in this state. That's what drives the economy," said Ken Hall, President of Teamsters Local 175 in West Virginia, and the General-Secretary of the national Teamster's office in Washington, DC.
But right-to work supporters say high pay-scales in some jobs are already driving away companies that might want to locate in West Virginia. Instead they move to southern right-to work states
Senator Cole (R-WV) says his goal is, "Making West Virginia a place where businesses want to locate, to bring jobs that we so desperately need. Or, to help the businesses that are already here."
Unions say it won't work.
Ken Hall of the Teamsters said, "It's all about driving the wages down. I guess they could create a lot of jobs, if they get the wage rates down to a dollar an hour."
13 News Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "If Right-to-Work passes and Governor Tomblin vetoes it, Republicans believe they have enough votes to override that veto. Union leaders say, don't count those votes just yet."
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