Jobs: Weigh all aspects

An editorial from The Charleston Gazette

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Everyone wants more jobs and prosperity in West Virginia. It’s a universal goal.

For that purpose, the Legislature’s new majority wants to make West Virginia a “right to work” state. Supporters say more businesses will be attracted if a small limitation is placed on labor unions. This topic should be studied thoroughly.

The 1947 Taft-Hartley Act — passed over President Truman’s veto — bans “closed shops” or “union shops” in which only union members may work. But it approves “agency shops.” These let some workers refuse to join unions, but they must pay fees for representation by union agents. (The federal government does not allow agency shops — for U.S. government employees.)

The proposed right-to-work law merely prevents unions from collecting fees from workers who choose not to join. That’s all.

Actually, this issue involves only a tiny fringe of workers, because organized labor has disintegrated in America…

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