Thu June 7, 2012
After Indiana Success, Supporters Hope to Pass "Right to Work" Law in Kentucky
Groups that support so-called right to work laws are looking to pass such a measure in Kentucky.
Right to work laws prohibit the mandatory payment of union dues. Indiana passed such a law last year, and some of the same groups that lobbied for it are now focusing on the commonwealth.
“There could be a real push now that Indiana has passed a right to work law," says Bluegrass Institute president Jim Waters. "They became the 23rd state to pass that, so that means that Kentucky has states to the north and the south, with Indiana to the north and Tennessee to the south that have right to work law.
Supporters say right to work laws give workers freedom from unions. But opponents say the laws weaken unions and give non-union employees free access to union benefits. The last serious push for right to work legislation in Kentucky was during Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher's tenure in the mid 2000s.
“We certainly intend to work with I think folks in particular from Indiana who are here or who will be here to help us. We certainly intend to do everything we can at the Bluegrass Institute to promote this policy,” says Waters.
Waters says passing a right to work law should be no problem in the Republican-controlled Kentucky Senate. But the real work will be convincing rural Democrats in the Kentucky House.