Will Right-to-Work Kick-Start WV's Struggling Economy?

The State Journal - As West Virginia struggles with above-average unemployment, a dying coal industry and continued population and job losses, state lawmakers are ready to again consider controversial right-to-work legislation to help save the state's struggling economy. Read

But what is right-to-work, what does it do, and is it the magic bullet needed to kick-start the state's economy?

Simple surface

On the surface, right-to-work laws seem simple enough. In states like West Virginia, the law would simply mean that unions can't compel workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment.

But discussion of right-to-work legislation quickly breaks down into a classic debate between labor and business. Labor leaders see right-to-work as a tactic by business to kill unions, hurting workers in the long run. Meanwhile, business leaders claim right-to-work legislation promotes business and brings more jobs to states.


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