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"Never before have so few with so much promised to take away so much from so many and then laugh their asses off as the so many with so little vote for the so few with so much."
A Jim Pence Quote
"American Politics, a sport for the rich and enslavement for the rest of us."
A Jim Pence Quote

Gene Nettles Letter To The Editor: Resolution On Rate Restructuring Proposal By LG&E/KU.

by: Hillbilly

Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 12:17:56 PM EST

The Cumberland Chapter of the Sierra Club opposes the large increases in the fixed monthly charges for residential customers that LG&E and KU have proposed in a filing under consideration by the KY Public Service Commission.  We believe that raising this fixed fee by 67% (from $10.75 to $18 per month) will have undesirable effects, including:

  • People that consume less electricity will be charged a larger share of the collective rate pie, putting more of a burden on those who can least afford the higher fixed costs.  LG&E/KU’s proposal raises revenue at the expense of some of its most vulnerable customers
  • Incentives for energy efficiency will be reduced because the high base rate will mean that the electricity consumed will be a smaller proportion of the bill.  Further, LG&E proposes a lower per kwh rate (a reduction of 0.458 cents/kwh), which will also encourage higher consumption, because large users will incur lower charges.
  • he higher monthly fixed charge will become a barrier for homeowners who wish to invest in sustainable systems such as solar or wind, as it makes the financing less attractive.

We believe that this LG&E/KU proposal will discourage the growth of clean energy industries—like solar and energy efficiency—just when Kentucky badly needs the jobs from those promising industries. Surrounding states have seen a large increase in clean energy jobs in recent years but Kentucky has not because of outdated and regressive energy policies. Moreover, the effects of climate disruption (heat waves, ice storms, polar vortexes) are already affecting Kentuckians. We should be encouraging efficiency and clean renewable energy, not creating barriers to consumer choice and job creation.   Furthermore, we should not be shifting costs from rich people and people that use energy irresponsibly onto poor people and onto those who are more efficient and responsible consumers.

We therefore resolve that policies that discourage efficiency and clean energy and increase the burden on poor people should be rejected, and call upon the PSC to deny the utilities’ request for raising the fixed monthly connection fee for homeowners.

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Marshall County Judge/Executive Chyrill Miller Stands Up Against Right To Work Efforts


Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 17:58:51 PM EST

Chyrill MillerMarshall County Judge/Executive Chyrill Miller hopes the anti-right to work resolution her fiscal court unanimously approved will help persuade officials in other counties to reject local right to work ordinances.

“A lot of judges, commissioners and magistrates don’t really understand what right to work is all about and that’s lower wages and fewer benefits,” Miller said. “It is not about anybody’s right to work.”

“The Marshall County Judge/Executive Mike Miller Memorial Anti-Right-to Work Resolution” was drafted by Kentucky State AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan and Howard “Bubba” Dawes Jr., a Marshall countian and member of the state AFL-CIO COPE Committee. They hope other fiscal courts will endorse the resolution.

Miller died unexpectedly in December at age 70. Elected in in 1974, he won an 11th four-year term last November. He was the longest serving county judge/executive in Kentucky.

“Unions always strongly supported him and he strongly supported them,” Miller’s widow said. “He always felt that union support was not just something that he needed. It was what he wanted.”

In January, Gov. Steve Beshear appointed Chyrill Miller to serve until the first business day after New Year’s Day. Voters will elect a new judge/executive in November.

“I have always been in favor of unions, too,” Miller said. “Unions get people what they need and not what somebody thinks they should have.”

Her late husband was a well-known raconteur and storyteller whose wit and good humor invited comparison to Vice President Alben Barkley and Sen. Wendell Ford, devout Democrats like both Judge Millers.
“Unlike Mike, I am a person of few words,” the new Judge Miller said with a chuckle. “But I won’t back up from that resolution for anyone.”

Neither, she said, will any of the three commissioners who she joined in voting “aye:” Johnny Bowlin, Dr. Rick Cocke and Bob Gold. “They are all union supporters, too,” she said.

Marshall County – its seat is Benton – is home to several union locals, most of them at chemical plants and a steel mill in Calvert City.

Since December, 13 of Kentucky’s 120 counties have approved RTW ordinances or have had first readings on the measures.

In December, Attorney Gen. Jack Conway issued an official opinion warning that the ordinances are unconstitutional. The opinion said that under federal labor law, only states and territories can pass right to work laws.

In January, nine unions filed suit in federal court in Louisville challenging the Hardin County ordinance. But the suit can be broadened to cover other county RTW ordinances.
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Marshall County (Kentucky) Fiscal Court Passes Anti-Right-To-Work Resolution.


Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 21:31:12 PM EST

A seventh Kentucky county has passed a “right-to-work” measure, but the union-busters won’t like this one.

The Marshall County Fiscal Court braved a 7-inch snowfall, 5-degree temperatures and slick streets to meet this morning at the courthouse in Benton and unanimously approve an anti-right-to-work resolution.

The first order of business, the measure strongly condemns “current efforts by out-of-state forces to divide labor and management and county against county with the introduction of county right-to-work ordinances.”

The resolution was named in honor of the late Marshall County Judge/Executive Mike Miller. The longest serving county judge/executive in Kentucky, he died unexpectedly in December at age 70.

Kentucky State AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan and Marshall County resident Howard “Bubba” Dawes Jr., a member of the state AFL-CIO COPE Committee, wrote the resolution.

“I can’t think of any higher honor they could give Mike than this resolution,” said Judge/Executive Chyrill Miller, who took over for her husband. “He would be thrilled with it.”

She is a staunch Democrat like her late husband.

Miller said her spouse wouldn’t have been pleased with Democratic magistrates who have joined Republicans in passing county right-to-work ordinances.

"Mike would be thinking, ‘What are they thinking?’” Miller said.

All three Marshall magistrates are Democrats.

Miller asked Dawes, who chairs the county Democratic Party, to read the “Marshall County Judge/Executive Mike Miller Memorial Anti-Right-to-Work Resolution" to the court. “I know he would be very honored,” Miller said of her husband after the vote.

Dawes, also directing business representative of Calvert City-based International Association of Machinists District Lodge 154 in Calvert City, near Benton, said he and Londrigan drafted the resolution “to counter those counties that have taken it upon themselves to pass illegal right-to-work ordinances.”

Dawes suggested that the pro-right-to-work Democratic county officials “should go back and look at the Democratic platform and decide what they believe in. The Democratic Party has always supported working people. These right-to-work ordinances do not support working people.”

The resolution concluded, “…Marshall County Fiscal Court does hereby honor the life and dedication of…Mike Miller to the citizens and workers of Kentucky by rejecting any and all efforts to pass a right-to-work ordinance in Marshall County.”

Miller was elected in 1974 and reelected to an 11th term in November. In January, Gov. Steve Beshear appointed Miller’s widow to replace him until voters can elect a new judge/executive in November.

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Rep. Horlander's riposte


Fri Feb 13, 2015 at 13:00:33 PM EST

“Hurrah for our last legislature! They have acted nobly in the present crisis,” the Daily Louisville Democrat cheered when in February, 1861, the pro-Union General Assembly courageously refused to put Kentucky in the Confederacy.

Permit this retired community college history teacher who still packs a union card to shout “hurrah!” for the House Labor and Industry Committee for “acting nobly” in another crisis: the GOP’s holy war against organized labor.

Just as a majority of Kentucky lawmakers stood by the Federal Union 154 years ago (my Civil War ancestor was a private who rode with Gen. William T. Sherman through Georgia in the 12th Kentucky Cavalry), Middlesboro Democratic Rep. Rick Nelson’s panel stood by labor unions Thursday morning.

By a wide margin, the committee turned thumbs down on a “right to work” bill and on legislation to repeal the prevailing wage law.

Both measures passed the pro-right to work and anti-prevailing wage GOP-majority Senate.

Scores of union members and union supporters from across the state rallied in Frankfort for the RTW and prevailing wage hearing. They hurrahed when the committee, as expected, rejected both bills.

Oh, the union-busters brought their patent medicine show to the capital city and displayed their wizard oil. Drink deeply of it, they claimed, and RTW will make Kentucky’s economy soar to the heavens. As usual, the RTW hucksters were long on palaver and short on proof.

A RTW booster reminds me of an old-time horse trader. The fellow was happy to show you his teeth, but not the nag’s.

Oh, a RTW sales associate from Warren County vowed his neck of the woods had received “20 new project inquiries that would create 2,500 jobs since its county government approved a right-to-work ordinance in December,” reported Jack Brammer of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

True to form for his side, the RTW scammer evidently failed to mention what companies made the queries.

Joe Brennan, director of the Louisville-based Kentucky Labor Institute, was at the hearing and he compared the RTW proponent's remarks to nibbles on a fishing line. "Any fisherman will tell you that nibbles don't count until the fish are actually landed and in the boat."

Anyway, State AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan and Caitlin Lally, communications director for Louisville-based UFCW Local 227, teamed up to skillfully parry the thrusts from the RTW and anti-prevailing wage folks.

Lally said the number of jobs in Oklahoma has shrunk by one-third since the Sooner State legislature passed a RTW law in 2001, according to the H-L.

Nelson “said the state Economic Development Cabinet told him that no company has ever refused to move into Kentucky because it didn't have a right-to-work law,” Brammer wrote.

On the prevailing wage debate, the most memorable verbal swordplay I read about came in a duel between Tom Shelton, head of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents, and Rep. Dennis Horlander, D-Louisville.

Shelton is a former Fayette County school chief. He said getting rid of the prevailing wage “would save school districts money that could be used for additional projects,” Brammer wrote.

Would “additional projects” include fattening a super’s paycheck?

Anyway, Horlander was ready with a riposte. He advised Shelton that “no one in his district ever asks him about Kentucky's prevailing wage law, but he does get questions about school superintendent salaries,” Brammer reported.


Thursday was a chilly day around my old Kentucky home down in the Jackson Purchase. I suspect it was frigid in Frankfort, too.

But Horlander’s rejoinder especially warmed the heart of this long-in-the-tooth, out-to-pasture prof, and doubtless any AFT or KEA folks who happened to be at the hearing. (I also carry a KEA retiree’s card.)
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Where's the beef?


Fri Feb 13, 2015 at 12:52:25 PM EST

The guy who heads the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce claims a lot of companies are shunning Kentucky because it’s not a right to work state.

In an op-ed piece published recently in the Lexington Herald Leader, chamber President-CEO Brad Richardson wrote, “Site Selection magazine ranked Kentucky's business climate eighth in the nation.”

Eight out of 50 states looks pretty good in my book.

Anyway, Richardson also wrote, “I've been in too many meetings over the past 25 years where Kentucky lost out because a company would not consider a non-right-to-work state.”

Richardson didn’t say which companies gave Kentucky a pass.

“A number of opponents have asked me to name one of these companies, but the site selection process demands confidentiality,” he added. “Economic development professionals know that discussing a company damages their credibility as well as the area they represent.”

I’m not for a minute claiming Richardson is fibbing. Nor would I deny him the right to his opinion.

But let’s say a top union official wrote, “I’ve been in many meetings over the past 25 years where Kentucky won because a company would not consider a right-to-work state.”

I can imagine the hue and cry from the RTW side. They’d hop up and down demanding proof of such a sweeping statement.

They’d blow fuses if the union official wrote, “I can't name any companies because the site selection process demands confidentiality.”

Hardin is one of six Kentucky counties that have passed right to work ordinances. Nine unions sued the county in federal court in Louisville. But the suit could be broadened to include other counties.
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Urban county council member doubts Fayette will go right to work


Thu Feb 05, 2015 at 09:54:52 AM EST

Just because the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council agreed to consider a right to work ordinance doesn’t mean approval is in the offing.

The council on Tuesday voted voted 8-5 to refer a RTW ordinance to the Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee.

“But I am convinced that several council members opposed to the so-called right to work voted in favor of sending it to committee because they felt, in the spirit of open-mindedness, it should be given a hearing,” said council member Jake Gibbs, a member of American Federation of Teachers Local 1360 and a professor at Bluegrass Community and Technical College, where is also the ombudsman.

“I do not believe something so blatantly anti-worker, hidden behind a euphemism, warrants consideration and, therefore, was one of the 5 opposed,” said Gibbs, who is the AFT campus representative at BCTC. “I don't think the proposal will become law in Fayette County."

In the vote, which came at a work session, one council member abstained and another was absent.

So far, five Kentucky counties have passed RTW ordinances and three more have approved such measures on first reading. Kentucky has 120 counties.

Nine unions have challenged the Hardin County RTW ordinance in federal court in Louisville. But the suit could be expanded to cover other RTW measures.

In addition, Attorney Gen. Jack Conway issued an opinion that the RTW ordinances are unconstitutional.
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Mitch McConnell's 'despicable' ad wins five magazine awards


Mon Feb 02, 2015 at 05:52:44 AM EST

AFT Local 1360

One of my union brothers could hardly believe that Sen. Mitch McConnell’s bogus “Election Violation Notice” collected a quintet of awards from Campaigns and Elections magazine, including “best direct mail piece for 2014.”

The mailer's purpose was to scare supporters of Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, McConnell's opponent. It was a deliberate deception designed to make recipients think they were somehow breaking the law. Inside, it listed “fraudulent information” being spread by “the federal candidate” Grimes.
“Advertising is legalized lying,” H.G. Wells famously observed. That goes double for political advertising.

Of course, politicians pay campaign advertising firms handsomely for crafting hit pieces like Team Mitch’s mailer, which looked like it came from the government.
“It’s not if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game,” we dutifully tell our kids in little league.
In grownup politics, winning is all that counts. If you have to lie and cheat, so be it. If you’re a gun-for-hire in political advertising, the better you are at lying and cheating, the more awards you win.
The McConnell ad, a joint venture with the Kentucky Republican Party, claimed five Reed Awards. I gather they’re Oscars for political ads judged to be the most effective, campaigns, no matter how contemptible the ads are.

Virtue may be its own reward elsewhere. Gutter politics wins the prizes atCampaign and Elections. “Best mail piece for a bare-knuckled street fight” was one of the categories the McConnell mailer won. Just the category’s name speaks volumes about the state of American politics.

But why stop with honors for cheating and playing dirty in politics?

Why not hand out trophies for the best bean baller in baseball or, in football, for players who put the most opposing players out of the game with cheap shots?

But, hey, Kentucky is a basketball state. So how about giving trophies for shoving the most players into the seats while they go airborne for a layup?
Anyway, McConnell’s mailer came in an official-looking envelope with a Frankfort return address. The piece warned the recipient: “THE INFORMATION ENCLOSED CONTAINS FACTS RELATED TO A POSSIBLE FRAUD BEING PERPETRATED ON CITIZENS ACROSS KENTUCKY.”
Jonathan Hurst, Grimes’ campaign manager, called the mailer “despicable” and a blatant attempt at voter suppression.
That it was.
But I’d bet the farm that Hurst’s complaint – and Grimes’ vain attempt to stop the mailer in court -- triggered high fives and gales of laughter on Team Mitch, whose guy beat Grimes by more than 15 percentage points.
Okay, throughout American history, truth has often been the first casualty in political campaigns, no matter the era or the party.

Supporters of Federalist President John Adams shrieked that if the “infidel” Democratic Republican Thomas Jefferson were elected president in 1800, "murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced.”
The Jeffersonians shot back that Adams sent a U.S. Navy ship to England to procure two prostitutes, one for himself and the other for his running mate.

However, as far as I can tell, there were no awards for such falsehoods spread by party hacks and by the partisan press in early America.
In any event, it is too bad that McConnell seems to have learned nothing about politics from his purported mentor, Sen. John Sherman Cooper. In his salad days, McConnell was a Cooper intern.
Cooper, a moderate to liberal Republican, eschewed “bare-knuckled street fight” politics, even in the 1954 senate race, probably the toughest battle of his political career. His foe was the formidable Alben Barkley, a former senate majority leader Harry Truman’s vice president.
In his campaign, the senator “…wouldn’t permit the use of rumored contract scandals against Barkley,” Robert Schulman quoted Cooper’s sister in John Sherman Cooper: The Global Kentuckian.

You can’t bet the farm McConnell would have blown a bundle on ads elevating even the most baseless of rumors to “fact.”
Cooper fought fairly and lost. I can almost hear the “nice guys finish last” sneer from Team Mitch.

Even so, Cooper bounced back. He won reelection in 1956 and stayed in the Senate until 1973. Dubbed “the Global Kentuckian,” Cooper was also a diplomat, serving as U.S. ambassador to India in 1955-1956 and to East Germany in 1974-1976.
Above all, Cooper was a principled politician. His refusal to demonize and smear his political foes is a big part of his legacy. He died in 1991 and went down in history as a statesman in the truest sense of the word.

I doubt history will be as kind to McConnell, and rightly so.
“John Sherman Cooper would be appalled at Mitch McConnell,” said Dr. Duane Bolin, a Murray State University historian and author. “McConnell’s bottom line is simply to stay in office and enrich himself and the billionaires who support him. I don’t think he believes in anything.”
Shortly before I talked to my union brother, I got an email from another one of my friends, a university librarian-historian. He had seen the KET interview with McConnell at Ashland, Sen. Henry Clay’s preserved Lexington home.

A 19th century state legislator, congressman, senator, secretary of state, three time presidential candidate and broker of three compromises to save the Union, Clay is Kentucky’s greatest ever statesman. (President Abraham Lincoln is our greatest native son, but he made his political splash in Illinois.)
“Mitch was bragging about his historical knowledge of Henry Clay and the great respect he had for the man and his politics,” my buddy wrote. “I could only chuckle - the Great Divider commenting on the Great Compromiser.”
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Here's more proof the Right To Work drive is fizzling


Mon Feb 02, 2015 at 05:46:04 AM EST

Remember those boasts by union-busters that right work ordinances would be on the books in 25 percent of Kentucky counties by Jan. 31?

Kentucky State AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan does.

“If you recall, when the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, the Bluegrass Institute, ALEC and all the rest began their crusade for illegal county RTW ordinances, they predicted that they would pass in 30 counties.”

Kentucky has 120 counties.
“Well, today is the last day of January, and unless they perform a miracle, they have fallen well short of their goal,” Londrigan added.
So far, only Warren, Simpson, Fulton, Todd and Hardin and Whitley counties have passed RTW ordinances. Cumberland, Logan and Whitley counties have approved RTW measures on first reading.
All but Warren and Hardin counties border Tennessee, a right to work state.
Londrigan calls the counties on the state line “low hanging fruit,” adding that “counties that border Tennessee and seem to be much more susceptible to RTW proponents’ lies about how they would get all those jobs from employers that are purportedly setting up shop just on the other side of the Tennessee border as if they were maquiladoras along the Mexican border.”

Londrigan credited union members and union supporters across the state with stalling the RTW drive. “Counties the RTW supporters assumed would jump on board have suddenly backed off.”

Londrigan said two other factors helped slow the RTW push: a suit that nine unions filed in federal court in Louisville against the Hardin County ordinance -- which could be applied to other RTW ordinances -- and an official opinion from Attorney Gen. Jack Conway that county RTW ordinances are unconstitutional.
In addition, he credited state AFL-CIO mailings to county judge-executives and county attorneys, plus “press work, testimony and demonstrations that have sent a strong message to the counties that organized labor will be fighting this plague in every corner of the commonwealth.”

He said the list of counties where RTW has fizzled is growing. Londrigan pointed to Clark, Pulaski and Bullitt counties.

The Clark fiscal court discussed RTW but did not vote on the issue. “Over 50 union members attended the meeting and testimony was presented and information was distributed to the magistrates and the county judge-executive. They do not plan on scheduling a vote on a RTW ordinance.”

In Pulaski, the pro-RTW judge-executive evidently doesn’t have the votes to get an ordinance passed, according to Londrigan. “Several of the magistrates are retired union members and have helped push back against the new county judge-executive who reported at the last meeting that Pulaski County had actually hired the union-buster Brent Yessin to represent the county.”

A Kentucky native, Yessin is an anti-union lawyer who is on the board of advisors for Protect My Check, a Florida-based union-busting group that has promised to pay legal bills for fiscal courts sued over RTW ordinances.
“We are not taking it as a given that RTW will not be brought back,” Londrigan said. “But for now, it looks like Pulaski County will not be able to pass an illegal RTW ordinance.”

Londrigan also said that union members met with officials in Bullitt County. “The county judge-executive assured them that Bullitt County is not going to even have a hearing on a RTW ordinance.”

Too, the Daviess County judge-executive assured union members that his county is not interested in in a hearing on RTW, Londrigan said.

A second reading on the Logan RTW ordinance is set for Feb. 24. Cumberland County is expected to take up a second reading soon.
“We are gathering information about these counties in terms of timing, union contacts, political composition and the backgrounds of each magistrate,” Londrigan said. “Once we have definitively determined the dates, times and locations when these will be brought back up for a second reading, we will make the appropriate plans and take appropriate action to have local folks and others to contact the magistrates, share information with them, present testimony about RTW and turn out unionists for these meeting.”

Londrigan said it is a challenge keeping up with what RTW proponents are doing in a state with so many counties. “This is where union members come in. We need them to provide us feedback and information about what is going on in their counties so we can have a better picture of the local situation and act accordingly.

“We have put together a team that will be devoting much of their time to helping us to get out in front of the right-wing crusade to pass RTW in counties, and they will be coordinating with other unions in each area. It is extremely important that we stay engaged so that we have the necessary information to defeat this anti-worker, anti-union onslaught.”

Londrigan said he is grateful to union members “who have attended hearings, demonstrated, written op-eds and mobilized and informed your neighbors about RTW.

“I am certainly proud of the Kentucky labor movement and I think the proof of the success of our recently jump-started efforts is the failure of RTW proponents to achieve their goals, the number of counties that have committed to not introducing an illegal RTW ordinance and the positive response we have received from elected representatives and union members and the public.

“Please keep up the hard work and let’s make sure we let them know that the Kentucky labor movement isn’t going to roll over for them and that we are never going to stop fighting for economic, political and social justice.”

Londrigan can be reached by email at
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Right to work 'facts' are phony

by: Hillbilly

Sat Jan 31, 2015 at 07:17:39 AM EST

President, Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council and
USW Local 9447

“Most of the arguments against right-to-work have little basis in fact,” James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation claimed in a story recently published in the several Kentucky newspapers.

His arguments for right-to-work have no basis in fact.
In his article, Sherk cited several “myths” about right-to-work and then he purported to provide us with “facts.” His “facts” are myths.

For example, he wrote, “Myth: Right-to-work laws prohibit unions.” Sherk was obviously implying that unions make such claims. I don’t know of anybody in any union who has ever said that right-to-work laws forbid unions.
Sherk also wrote that it is a “myth” that RTW laws harm unions, that they allow workers to enjoy a “free ride” and that they lower wages. He is wrong on all three counts.

RTW laws are calculated to undermine unions by enabling employees at a unionized workplace to receive union won wages and benefits without joining the union or paying the union a service fee. The idea is to discourage workers from joining unions, thereby weakening and ultimately destroying unions.

Not coincidentally, the states with the lowest percentages of union membership are right to work states. Nor it is a coincidence that they are among the poorest states in the Union.
Mississippi and Arkansas are prime examples. Few states have higher poverty rates than Mississippi and Arkansas, which have had RTW laws for years.
The term “right-to-work” is a deliberate deception. “Right-to-freeload” accurately describes these laws. Federal law requires unions to represent the non-union employees the same as they represent union employees.
In addition, the Heritage Foundation writer’s “facts” included the claim that unions often spend little money representing their members. Last year my union, United Steelworkers Local 9447 in Calvert City, spent $94,000 of the $120,000 we took in negotiating contracts for three of our units.
Sherk would have readers of his article believe that union dues mostly go to pay big salaries for what people like him call “union bosses” or “union fat cats.” But here’s another fact for Sherk: Every penny that a union spends is subject to a vote of the membership. The membership sets the salaries for all union officers, right up to international presidents.
He also says it is a “myth” that RTW laws don’t bring jobs into a state. He says it is a “fact” that “companies consider RTW laws a major factor when deciding where to locate.”

Michigan and Indiana, the latest states to pass RTW laws, have not seen the surge in jobs right to work proponents claimed would automatically happen. On average, salaries in non-right-to-work states are still higher than in right-to-work states.
Also, many people who are involved in recruiting industries, or who are authorities on the topic, say RTW is not a major factor in determining where a company moves. In opposing Todd County’s proposed RTW ordinance, County Attorney Harold Mac Johns told Hopkinsville radio WHOP, “What I’ve learned in industrial recruitment is location, availability of labor, transportation, availability -- site availability -- is much more important and we’ve never -- and I’ve been around the industrial foundation for almost 30 years -- and no one’s ever brought it (right-to-work) up when I’ve been present.”
Others say essentially the same thing. “In the grand scheme of things in Western Kentucky, right to work is low in significance in hindering job creation,” said Chad Chancellor, former chief executive officer of the Greater Paducah Economic Development Council.

“…RTW laws were found to have no statistically significant impact in explaining Kentucky’s lagging economic growth rate,” said a report issued by the Center for Business and Economic Research of the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics.

“Right-to-work laws are a welcome mat for companies who care most about low-wage, unskilled labor and who are committed to a region only until they are able to relocate to someplace where the laws protecting workers are even weaker,” said Dr. Ann Markusen, director of the Project on Regional and Industrial Economics at the University of Minnesota.

“Low road companies do care about right-to-work laws, because their primary concern is minimizing the cost of labor,” said Wim Wiewel, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Baltimore, and formerly dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Here’s another quote Mr. Sherk might find interesting: “We’re not purporting to prove that right-to-work produces superior economic performance.” That quote is from Stanley Greer, newsletter editor and spokesperson for the National Right to Work Committee.

Finally, Sherk cited polls he said prove most people favor RTW laws. But the only poll that counts is the one on election day. Last fall, Republican House candidates across the state ran on a promise to pass a right-to-work law if the GOP flipped the Democratic House.

Republican candidates gave speech after speech in favor of right to work. They called for right-to-work in their campaign literature and in their radio and TV commercials. In the end, the Democrats held their 54-46 House majority.
Here’s the bottom line. Right-to-work laws are among the oldest union-busting tools around. All right-to-work laws guarantee is the right to work for less.
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Bill Londrigan lauds Grimes' decision to go for a second term.


Mon Jan 26, 2015 at 20:22:58 PM EST

AFT Local 1360

Bill Londrigan couldn’t be happier that Alison Lundergan Grimes tossed her hat in the ring for reelection as secretary of state.

“We applaud Alison’s decision,” said Londrigan, Kentucky State AFL-CIO president. “She has done a wonderful job in that office.”

Grimes announced her candidacy today in Lexington. Afterwards, she traveled to Frankfort and filed.

Added Londrigan: “She has brought greater access to the ballot for Kentuckians in the military serving overseas.   She has brought a new energy and effectiveness to the office of secretary of state.”

Londrigan also said that Grimes "has a bright political future ahead of her. She will continue to be motivated by her commitment and dedication to the people of Kentucky.”

The state AFL-CIO endorsed Grimes, a Democrat, when she ran for secretary of state in 2011 and for the U.S. senate last year. Besides Grimes, Charles Lovett of Louisville is the only Democrat to file for secretary of state in the May 19 primary.

Two Republicans have filed for the GOP primary: Stephen L. Knipper of Independence and Michael Pitzer of Louisville.

The filing deadline for the primary is tomorrow at 4 p.m., Frankfort time. The general election is Nov. 3.
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