From David H. Miller
To The Editor,
Companies are trying to convince West Virginians that a “Right To Work” bill would be good for the citizens of West Virginia. I think that people realize that the companies main goal is to make the employers richer. The way to do that is to divide the workers by letting some employees reap the benefits without paying the dues needed to negotiate a good contract. Just look at what has been happening in West Virginia. The GOP controlled Legislature has pushed to lower the wages of construction workers by supporting a Bill to do away with the “Prevailing Wage Rate.” Also, they have passed Bills to decrease safety in West Virginia coal mines. They have lowered B and O taxes and franchise taxes on business. Years ago the Legislature privatized workers compensation resulting in the rates for companies being lowered more than 10 times. Companies are being offered hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks. “Out Of State Workers” are working in West Virginia without paying our State taxes on their wages. The citizens are being told that the State needs a “forced pooling” law so citizens will be forced to sell their land. Are these actions benefitting the citizens of West Virginia or the companies?
West Virginia has been exploited for years by out of state owners. The only power the people have is joining together to fight for their rights and for a decent wage. Whose side do you think the politicians are going to be on? Yours or the companies that donate to keep certain people in office?
West Virginia is an “at will state.” That means that an employer can fire a person for any reason or no reason at all. There are very few exceptions (race, sex, gender, reporting unsafe acts and so on). An employee could be a very good worker but the boss’s brother-in-law needs a job, the boss is allowed to fire the good worker for no reason and replace them with his brother-in-law. The “Right To Work” bill would is an attack on democracy. To form a Union the majority needs to vote for the Union. If there is not a majority, then there is no Union. If there is a majority then the Union represents the workers. It is the same system as the election of the West Virginia Legislature. I believe the only reason the Legislatures wants to pass this Bill is so the companies will keep sending them money so they can be re-elected.
David H. Miller