WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the state House of Delegates Judiciary Committee debated the bill Friday afternoon that would make West Virginia a right to work state, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin weighed in on the controversy.
In a prepared statement, Manchin said right to work legislation “will do nothing to create jobs in West Virginia.”
He said while he was governor not one company told him they would relocate to the state if right to work legislation was passed. Manchin called the bill a “divisive political issue being used to divide us.”
The bill, called the Workplace Freedom Act, has already passed the Senate. It would make it illegal for a person’s employment to be linked to him or her joining or a union or paying union fees.
Opponents of the bill say those in favor have failed to produce any evidence that the right to work designation will produce jobs. Proponents say having right to work is a piece of the puzzle that a company would look at before even considering the state for location.
Manchin’s complete statement:
“During my time as Governor of West Virginia, and now your Senator, I never had a single company tell me that it would relocate to our great state if only we would pass ‘right-to-work’ legislation. Simply put, this is a partisan bill that will do nothing to create jobs in West Virginia. During these tough economic times, we must focus on fighting for every job we have and every potential job we can create, rather than fighting over a divisive political issue being used to divide us, rather than unite us. I find it highly objectionable that people would attempt to play partisan politics with our jobs. The proponents of ‘right-to-work’ legislation are not able to show us the companies that will relocate to our great state if this legislation passes. Instead of engaging in divisive political fights, we should work together to bring successful companies to West Virginia.”