Tensions soar over AG's right-to-work law action

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WDTV)- Tensions are high once again now that our state attorney general has petitioned the Supreme Court to overrule a preliminary injunction over the right-to-work law. The law's been in limbo since about a month after it went into effect in July.

There's still a big division between those of you who believe the law would make our state more competitive and those who believe right-to-work is inherently wrong.

"To me that's the rich person hurting the poor person," said Joe Workman.

That's how Workman, a local union worker, views the law that would let employees in union shops opt out of paying union dues, but still get the benefits. He believes it would weaken unions and therefore the strength of the working person and our economy.

"That'll hurt all West Virginia middle class people. That'll really hurt everybody, even the economy, the whole state," he continued. "It'll let contractors out of state come up here and it's not good for local [business]. It's just bad for West Virginians."

But a local construction business owner is hopeful about the attorney general's push for the right-to-work law. He believes it will be good for the economy, but since it's such a hot topic he wants to remain anonymous.

"I feel we need to change to entice businesses to come to West Virginia for plants, for manufacturing," he said.

He hopes more business means a boom for the economy. He says he's not anti-union, but doesn't think less union power means more safety concerns or lower wages.

"If I have a good man I do what I have to to keep him," he said. "And I think that's where everybody said that the unions protect you, well companies don't want to get rid of their good employees."

However Workman credits his healthcare and being able to take care of his family to the union. The battle rages on.

"People will have to work 'til they're 80, 90, 'til they can't work anymore, 'til they go to their grave," said Workman. "That's what will happen."