Kentucky’s Attorney General Andy Beshear said the state’s new right-to-work law is an example of misplaced priorities. In a recent visit to Western Kentucky University, he said the law won’t lead to the job creation its supporters are seeking.
Supporters of right-to-work say it will help Kentucky compete against other states for new jobs.
Right to work allows employees to work in unionized facilities without paying union dues. Unions are still legally responsible for collectively bargaining for all employees, and defending all employees in the event of a grievance. Beshear believes right-to-work is bad policy.
“I wanted to be Attorney General to better protect families, and all right-to-work does is pay our working families less,” Beshear said.
Beshear pointed out Kentucky won Site Selection magazine’s “Governor’s Cup” award for its number of capital investment projects in both 2014 and 2015. The Attorney General said that shows the state was capable of competing for jobs and industry without right-to-work.
He said the commonwealth should focus on its drug addiction epidemic, which he describes as the number one impediment to job growth.
“Because we can change any law we want, but if our people aren’t healthy enough to take and to keep those jobs then the employers won’t come,” Beshear said.
Supporters say right-to-work will spur job growth and economic development. Attorney General Beshear said a recent mix-up between automaker Volvo and Governor Matt Bevin shows the law won’t be a cure-all. Bevin claimed Volvo didn’t locate in Kentucky in 2015 because it wasn’t a right-to-work state. Volvo officials denied that claim, saying Bevin must have misunderstood.