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  • West Virginia Republicans Override Governor’s Veto of Anti-Union Legislation
    Updated On: Apr 07, 2016

    By JoAnne Powers - February 15, 2016:

    Republican lawmakers in West Virginia Friday moved quickly to override Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's vetoes of two pieces of major anti-union legislation.  The overrides passed less than 24 hours after the governor issued the vetoes on Thursday afternoon.   One override means West Virginia becomes the nation’s 26th so-called Right To Work State, allowing workers to choose not to pay for unions that are still required to represent them.  West Virginia AFL-CIO President Kenny Perdue:

    [Kenny Perdue]: “Legislation like Right-to-Work does nothing, let me say that again, does nothing at all to build an economy.  All’s it does is come out and weaken unions and that’s all that this leadership and their deep-pocket contributors and the Koch Brothers and others, through ALEC…we’ll be fighting the next elections with the billionaires.”

    West Virginia legislators moved just as quickly to override the governor’s veto of a bill that would eliminate the state’s prevailing wage law, which require workers on public contracts to be paid a certain minimum compensation to keep lower-paying, non-local contractors from undercutting the labor market:

    [Kenny Perdue]: “It is such a downturn of an economy.  It lowers wages and lowers the situation about healthcare,pensions, and families are going to be struggling, and it’s a scary thought as we come into the 21st century in a state we’ve got a race to the bottom.”

    Perdue sees the override votes as a betrayal by the state’s Republican legislators:

    [Kenny Perdue]: “The anti-worker politicians made a lot of promises to people.  Workers, family members, union members played right into their hands and what they said, and they voted these people in.  We’ve got a lot of them admit they did vote for them, but they won’t do it again, because all’s they’ve done to them is lie to them.  There’s a lot of these elected officials that are extremely arrogant to the fact that workers are suffering, and they just don’t give a damn as to what happens to ‘em.

    Perdue also expects Friday’s actions to come back and bite legislators come election time:

    [Kenny Perdue]: “As our members, our leaders, started informing the public about what Right-to-Work really is, we were able to move that needle about nine percent.  So, we’re getting down in around 50-50 with what the public knows about right to work, and as we go through the next 30 days in our session, up until May 10th, when the election is and the primary, and up until November when the national election is, we will be doing a lot of education to the public.  Everything that we say can be backed up; most of what they say has no validity at all, so we think we have a good shot at education coming into the next election and winning some seats back, which can change the complexity of what we’re dealing with in our House and the Senate in the State.”

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