Friday, February 12, 2016

West Virginia enacts right-to-scab law

Why would West Virginia of all places pass an unconstitutional "right-to-work" law? Fifteen years ago, I would have thought Kentucky and Ohio would have both easily beaten West Virginia in that marathon to ruin.

West Virginia is a state whose citizenry once literally fought a battle against the federal government to be allowed to unionize. And that state is now becoming "right-to-work"?

This week, Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed a right-to-scab bill passed by the state's Republican legislature. But today, right-wing lawmakers overrode his veto. (Like Kentucky, West Virginia requires only a simple majority to override a veto.)

One might think that by enacting a right-to-scab law, the West Virginia GOP has just permanently cost itself its electoral edge. "Right-to-work" support hurt Kentucky Republicans in 2014, and it may have hurt the GOP in the Senate election in Michigan too. On the other hand, Republican talking heads will inevitably blame "the liberals" when West Virginians are forced to work at low-paying jobs at fast food restaurants when they're 40 - even though it's GOP policies that are forcing people to do so.

West Virginia Republicans also repealed the state's popular prevailing wage law.

Just rejoin Virginia already.