In Right-to-Work Fight, Unions Spend $1.4 Million; Business, $375,000

Jun 9, 2016

Credit Perry Bennett / WV Legislative Photography

While Republican West Virginia legislative leaders rammed a right-to-work bill into law this year, unions and business groups spent almost $1.8 million altogether battling over the policy.

Grassroots campaign reports say union groups spent $1.4 million in a failed bid to kill right-to-work. Pro-business groups spent about $374,500 to support the GOP on the policy abhorred by unions and Democrats. The fight was waged in TV ads and other media.

This winter, lawmakers approved the bill largely on party lines and Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed it. Then, needing only a simple majority, the GOP overrode Tomblin's veto and made right-to-work the law.

The law says collective bargaining agreements struck July 1 or later can't require workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment.