Misdirected frustration evident at labor rally

An editorial from the Charleston Daily Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia has the nation’s lowest workforce participation rate. In October, only 49.8 percent of eligible people in the work force were employed, compared to a national average of 62.7 percent.

Despite being among the top states in per person spending on education, West Virginia rated 50th in the National Association of Educational Progress 2013 rankings.

West Virginia is among the lowest states in innovation. The state ranks 49th, above only Mississippi, in the 2014 State New Economy Index published by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

In the backdrop, leadership of the AFL-CIO arranged a big, boisterous rally on the state Capitol steps over the weekend. Their target: the Republican legislative majority.

“For nearly 60 days, they’ve conspired with their big owners and their big donors and out-of-state corporations to lower your wages and to take your benefits,” Richard Trumka, president of the national AFL-CIO, told the crowd of thousands of union members, including some bused in from out of state.

 But wait, it was just this year that Republicans became the majority in both the House and Senate. Democrats have ruled the Legislature since the 1930s. It’s under Democratic leadership that the number of jobs in the state dropped and the misery index rose.
But union leaders want to villify Republicans for trying to turn West Virginia’s woes around? …


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