Kentucky’s Volatile Beakers

Posted by Margaret Mire on Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 at 3:19 pm - Permalink

Bluegrass State Experimenting with Local Right-to-Work

America boasts of being the land of the free. 

But is it?  For workers in non-right-to-work states, freedom only stretches so far.

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) allows state legislatures to pass right-to-work laws which give workers the freedom to opt-out of paying union dues.  Unfortunately, only 24 states have passed such laws.

The remaining non-right-to-work states deny workers the opportunity to bring a portion their hard-earned money home to their families by forcing them to spend it on a collective bargaining representative.  Even if the workers don’t want union representation.

Fortunately, some local officials in Kentucky, a non-right-to-work state, may have found a way to help their workers.

Kentucky is a state that follows “home rule,” or the delegation of some authority to localities and/or counties, especially regarding matters of economic development.  Because Kentucky follows home rule at the county level, county leaders in Kentucky have decided that “economic development” includes right-to-work laws since they attract more businesses and improve the job market.

While Kentucky’s experiment with local right-to-work is bold, it is an important step in the direction of bringing workers more freedom and opportunity.

The Center for Worker Freedom’s Matt Patterson highlights Kentucky’s local right-to-work experiment in his Forbes column on February 9, 2015, where he wrote:

“Kentucky is conducting an exciting experiment in our great laboratory of democracy. And local officials in Ohio, Pennsylvania and other un-free labor markets are eagerly awaiting to see what bubbles forth from the Bluegrass State’s volatile beakers.”

To read the full article, click here.