Unions, Business at Odds on Right-to-Work in WV

Charleston Gazette-Mail - Would a right-to-work law bring more jobs to West Virginia? Read

Would a right-to-work law lower wages in West Virginia?

There is evidence to support both points, and business and labor leaders made familiar arguments during a public hearing on right-to-work in the West Virginia House of Delegates chamber Thursday.

A right-to-work bill (SB 1) passed the state Senate last week, on a strict party-line vote, and a vote in the House of Delegates could come as soon as next week.

Of the approximately 25 speakers at the hearing, the only surprise came from Lane Ferguson, president of Nitro Construction Services, who said his business has worked all over the country, including in many right-to-work states.

About 10 years ago, the company did the HVAC work on a Toyota plant in Texas. He said he was able to pay workers there lower wages, but found that they could not do the job.

"What we find is a reduced rate of pay, which doesn't attract the best and brightest people to the craft," Ferguson said. "What you have is people earning a lower wage but don't know what they're doing."


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