But Kentucky AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan rebutted their argument with statistics of his own, usually from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and he quoted federal law, the U.S. Supreme Court and the website of right-to-work proponents to counter Mourad’s contention of forced union membership.
Londrigan scoffed at proponents’ contention the legislation isn’t anti-union, quoting former President Harry Truman who said such legislation was “like saying you are for motherhood but against children.”
Londrigan also cited press stories and government data which indicate more businesses closed in Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee in the year after each passed right-to-work laws than the number of new businesses opened and that unemployment went up in each state.
The room was packed with union members, and they cheered several of Londrigan’s comments and statements by sympathetic lawmakers. In the end, the measure failed 15-4, with all Democrats voting against the measure while two Republicans, C.B. Embry and Jim Stewart, joined them. Four Republicans ― Lynn Bechler, Regina Bunch, Toby Herald and Adam Koenig ― voted for the bill.
Later Hoover issued a statement saying his bill would help Kentucky compete with such RTW states as Tennessee.
He accused opponents of a political agenda, although Republicans will likely try to use the Democrats’ votes against them in some elections this fall, something Hoover alluded to in the statement.
“Simply put, those who oppose it are placing their own partisan political needs above good public policy that will benefit Kentucky much like it has benefited other states where right to work has been enacted. Because of that, we will remain less competitive until such time Frankfort and the House of Representatives changes direction.”
Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at email@example.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.