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Senate Republicans ready for fight on right to work

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Republican leaders in the West Virginia state Senate are ready and willing to take on the opposition they expect to face from organized labor after introducing a bill that could dramatically affect the state’s unions because they believe it is time to take a different approach.

Five Republican lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, introduced Senate Bill 337 on Tuesday. The bill, known as “Creating Workplace Freedom Act,” would make West Virginia the 25th state in the country to adopt a right to work law. The Mountain State would be the first in the nation since 2012 when Michigan and Indiana became right to work states, if the bill is enacted.

The proposed legislation prohibits any requirement for a person to be a due paying member of a labor union.

Carmichael and Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, said the bill is ultimately all about creating a free market environment in West Virginia.

“I understand the value of unions and we respect and admire their contributions but to require somebody to belong to an organization is against the freedom of association,” Carmichael said.

Carmichael defended the bill, saying it is not an attack on unions…

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