Updating labor stories
More on the right-to-work challenge and Alpha Natural Resources
As teachers frequently remind students: "Please do your own work"
Did the WV legislature, in their rush (it was SB 1) to prove how anti-union they were, fail to change ALEC's right-to-work model legislation enough to make it constitutional? In the previous post I noted the AFL-CIO's decision to challenge the legislation. An editorial, "Legislative incompetence," in this morning's Charleston Gazette-Mail explains:
Conservatives in the 2016 Legislature may have stampeded too quickly — borrowing language from other states — and thus botched the right-to-work law that was the prize achievement of Republican lawmakers.
That’s the legal argument of the state AFL-CIO, which plans a court challenge against the law designed to break labor unions.
And where did our Republican legislature get this legislation? PR Watch tells us:
Both anti-worker bills, Right to Work (Senate Bill 1) and Prevailing wage repeal (HB4005), mirror model legislation promoted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which receives a substantial part of its funding from Koch Industries and other entities controlled and funded by the Koch brothers. ALEC is closely tracking the West Virginia legislation.
To paraphrase Dean Wormer in Animal House: lazy and stupid is no way to go through life, son.
Judge rules in Alpha's favor
In the ongoing battle between coal company Alpha Natural Resources and the UMWA union and its retirees the bankrupt coal company continues to win in the courts. As Reuters reported Monday:
Bankrupt coal producer Alpha Natural Resources Inc won court approval on Monday for authority to reject labor contracts and retiree benefits as a way to cut about $60 million to help with a planned sale and reorganization.
Alpha's legal team warned the company could be force to liquidate if required to maintain labor contracts and retiree benefits for its unionized workers.
If you remember, this is the company that recently gave $12 million in bonuses to their executives for the work they've done with the company's bankruptcy.
I googled this story to see which West Virginia newspapers covered the story and the Beckley Register-Herald and the Charleston Gazette-Mail were the only two that I could find.
See below for links to previous Alpha stories.
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