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Right-to-work policy debated for KY

(LEXINGTON, Ky.) – Kentucky’s economic health could be greatly strengthened by implementing a right-to-work policy, Bluegrass Institute vice chairman Warren Rogers told a sold-out crowd at a debate sponsored by the Lexington Forum last Thursday.

Right-to-work guarantees that no person can be compelled to join or pay union dues as a condition of employment.

Rogers, a Lexington businessman, predicted that a new right-to-work law in neighboring Indiana “will have a profound impact on Indiana, … and a negative impact on the state of Kentucky unless we do something about it.”

Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a bill into law on Feb. 1 that made the Indiana the 23rd state in the nation to implement a right-to-work policy.

Rogers noted that six days later, Caterpillar announced that it was relocating a plant – and 450 jobs to Indiana. On Feb. 17, the heavy equipment company announced a new manufacturing plant and its 1,400 jobs in Athens, Georgia – a state that provides right-to-work protection. 

“Right-to-work is long overdue in this state,” he said. “We are squeezed between Indiana, Tennessee and Virginia – states that have lots of economic activity.”

All new auto plants built in the United States during the last decades were built in right-to-work states, including Hyundai, which shunned Kentucky’s offer of land and tax incentives and instead located in Montgomery, Alabama – a right-to-work state.

Arguing against right-to-work was Lexington attorney Richard Dawahare, who disputed Rogers’ claim that without a right-to-work law, workers are forced to join labor unions and financially contribute to unions’ causes.

“Right to work is a false slogan,” Dawahare said. “They are not forced to join a union but they are forced to pay a fair share” for representation.

But Rogers said “very few workers who disagree with their union’s political contribution ever get their money back.”



Fine! But make it fair.Under right to Work laws, Unions are forced to represent all employees whether paying dues or not and can be sued if they don't. It is no more than a law that takes away the rights of union members. Whether a person is required to join a union or to pay dues is determined by contract between the Company and the Union. RTW is a favorite Republican law that puts the Gov't into private affairs. At the same time the Repubs say they want less gov't. Say what?
I read this and I was a bit confused since I thought that Kentucky was a RTW state but then I looked for the definition and found: "Right-to-work laws are state laws that prohibit both the closed and union shop. A right to work law secures the right of employees to decide for themselves whether or not to join or financially support a union. However, employees who work in the railway or airline industries are not protected by a right to work law, and employees who work on a federal enclave may not be." And after reading this, I find this type of situation and law something that I could get behind and support. Especially since the contributions to a union may be used to support candidates or policies that I may not agree in but my dues may still be used to support them. I do not see this as a Republican issue but more of a conservative issue since not all Democrats support the liberal swing of the current Democratic Party and it's elite members.

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