Mackinac Center for Public Policy Press Release

Friday, Feb. 12, 2016

Majority of States in Country Are Now Right-to-Work

West Virginia Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto

MIDLAND, MICHIGAN — The West Virginia Legislature voted today to override Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto of legislation that will make the state right-to-work, meaning unions will soon no longer be able to get workers fired for not paying them.
Effective July 1, 2016, West Virginia will be the country’s 26th right-to-work state, following Wisconsin and Michigan, which became right-to-work in 2015 and 2012, respectively. F. Vincent Vernuccio, director of labor policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Michigan and one of the country’s leading labor experts, said the override positions West Virginia for economic success and gives workers security.
“Today’s veto override shows that West Virginia legislators are committed to worker freedom and growing the state’s economy.” Vernuccio said. “Right-to-work states experience higher job and wage growth, see their populations increase, and experience lower unemployment than states that force people to pay a union as a condition of employment.”
Vernuccio pointed to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that shows right-to-work is strengthening unions.
“Last year, unions in right-to-work states gained more members than unions in non-right-to-work states, dispelling the myth that worker freedom hurts unions,” Vernuccio said. “Right-to-work states are seeing more job growth than their non-right-to-work counterparts, so there are more opportunities for union jobs.”
Vernuccio has been active in West Virginia, testifying before lawmakers, penning an op-ed, and doing nationally broadcast interviews. He is available to provide comment and expertise on today’s vote and what it means for the country.
To set up an interview with Vernuccio, please contact:
Chantal Lovell
Media Relations Manager

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