CHARLESTON, W.Va. — “We will remember in November,” shouted a union member from the gallery amid a loud and angry rumbling reaction to the House of Delegates passage of the right to work bill Thursday. The measure passed 54-46 after five hours of debate, with mostly Democrats speaking against the bill.
No Democrats crossed over to vote in favor of SB1, and 10 Republicans defected from the ranks to vote against a party agenda bill.
Being a right to work state means that state employers will be prohibited from requiring their workers belong to a union. The bill, which now goes back to the state Senate because it was amended in the House, also imposes fines ($500 to $5,000) for employers who defy the law, and allows an employee to file a civil action against an offending employer.
Unions oppose the law because they say it has the potential to erode their ranks and decrease their pension funds.
“There is no bipartisan support for this bill, but there is bipartisan opposition,” said Delegate Mike Caputo, D-Marion.
House members were reportedly close to defeating the Senate’s foundational bill, but the Republican leadership rallied to move votes in their favor…