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Government & Politics

Simpson County on the Verge of Passing Local Right-to-Work Law

Simpson County has become the third Kentucky county to give preliminary approval to a right-to-work law. 

The Simpson County Fiscal Court voted unanimously Tuesday on a local ordinance that allows workers to decide whether to join a union and pay dues without fear of losing their job.  Simpson County borders Tennessee which has a right-to-work law.  For Judge-Executive Jim Henderson, it’s an economic development issue.

"It is perceived by many new and expanding businesses throughout the country that Kentucky is not as business-friendly because we don't have right to work," Henderson told WKU Public Radio.  "Whether it's real or perceived doesn't really matter because when those companies are looking at locating a plant somewhere in the country, many of them simply won't look at Kentucky."

Eldon Renaud, president of the United Auto Workers Union in Bowling Green, spoke out against the ordinance at the fiscal court meeting, arguing right-to-work laws drive down wages and benefits for employees.Simpson County magistrates will tale a final vote on December 30.  Warren and Fulton counties have given initial approval to similar ordinances.  A final vote in Warren County is scheduled for December 19, and in Fulton County on the 29th.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is expected to issue a legal opinion on whether counties can pass local right-to-work measures in the absence of a state law. 

Copyright 2014 WKU Public Radio

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