West Virginia Becomes the 26th Right-to-Work State
Today, the West Virginia Legislature overrode Governor Tomblin’s veto to enact the state’s Right-to-Work law, making West Virginia the 26th state in the nation to do so. Because West Virginia law only requires a simple majority to override the Governor’s veto, the legislature’s action was expected. The bill, the Workplace Freedom Act, makes it illegal for employers to require union membership as a condition of employment. The law does not outlaw unions or make it more difficult for people to join if they would like.
The measure was first introduced in the state’s Senate, where it passed 17-16. The House of Delegates passed it by a wider margin of 54-46. The override of the Governor’s veto solidifies the legislature’s choice to expand worker freedom and boost the economic growth potential for the state. West Virginia is the latest to adopt a Right-to-Work law where it was once thought impossible. Michigan adopted a Right-to-Work law in 2013 and Wisconsin adopted a Right-to-Work law just last year.
With more than half the country protecting workers’ freedom to choose whether or not to join a union, all eyes will now be on the remaining 24 states where such protections do not exist. As more and more states act to ensure these freedoms and boost economic growth, West Virginia should serve as a strong example for lawmakers across the country.