Right to Work protests precede State of the State
By Matt Maccaro, WV MetroNews
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin was preparing to deliver his final State of the State address Wednesday night, a large crowd of union members jammed into the rotunda to protest Right to Work.
Republican legislators wasted no time introducing a bill Wednesday on the first day of the 2016 Session to make West Virginia a Right to Work state.
Legislators had to walk through the massive crowd of protestors to get into the House Chamber for the State of the State speech.
“We’re out to support working families. Right to Work’s going to destroy the state. It’s not only bad for working families, but it’s bad for business,” said Andy Wray.
Proponents of right to work, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael, believe Right to Work legislation would help the West Virginia economy. Opponents see it as an attack on unions.
“It’s important so they get the message that we’re not going to stand for Right to Work in this state. West Virginia’s a union state,” said Steve Day.
Gary Moschino wanted legislators to hear the voice of the people or get voted out.
“We need to show them that we’re not for this kind of stuff; we’re directly against it,” he said. “If we have to we need to bond together at election time and get them all out of office. West Virginia needs what we have now. We need unions, better wages, we need prevailing wage and we do not need the Right to Work.”
More than two dozen other states already have right to work laws.
The first bill introduced in the state Senate on Wednesday was one written to make West Virginia a right to work state.