Since Passing Right to Work, New High Paying Jobs Pour Into Kentucky
Job-Creating Investments Pour Into Kentucky
National Right to Work Helped State Pass, Defend
2017 and 2018 were the first two years in which a Right to
Work law prohibiting the termination of employees for refusal to pay union dues
or fees was on the books in Kentucky.
Over the course of these two years, companies pledged to
invest a total of roughly $14.5 billion in expansions and new facility
locations throughout Right to Work Kentucky.
Kentucky’s best-on-record year for job-creating investments
came in 2017. Last year was the state’s second highest-ever investment
performance. And Kentuckians have ample reason to be optimistic about the
Law’s Passage Was ‘the Culmination of a Persistent, Hard-Fought
Gov. Matt Bevin, who signed the Right Work law on January 7,
2017 and has continued to support it enthusiastically since, recently summed up
the progress in an interview with the West Kentucky Star:
“We have never had more Kentuckians working. We’ve never had
higher per capita income in this state. We’ve never had lower unemployment in
Mr. Bevin has publicly linked the Right to Work law to the
recent record-breaking flow of business investments into Kentucky. And National
Right to Work members can take some of the credit for Kentucky’s success.
“The passage of Kentucky’s Right to Work law just over two
years ago was the culmination of a persistent, hard-fought battle to end
compulsory unionism in the Bluegrass State,” recalled National Right to Work
Committee Vice President Mary King.
Right to Work Attorney Helped Defend Law Before State
Ms. King continued,
“For example, in the fall of 2015, when Mr. Bevin was
running for governor against pro-forced unionism Attorney General Jack Conway,
the National Committee alone contacted 150,000 Kentucky households with one or
more identified Right to Work supporters.
“The Committee informed these citizens about the stark
contrast between the two major-party gubernatorial candidates on labor policy.
On Election Night, the pro-Right to Work candidate won by an 85,000-vote
Having lost at the polls and in the Kentucky General
Assembly, in May 2017 Big Labor turned to the state judiciary in an effort to
get its forced-dues privileges reinstated.
Acting on behalf of a press operator in Lebanon, Ky., and
two employees at the Leggett & Platt facility in Winchester, Ky., attorneys
for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, the Committee’s sister
organization, successfully intervened in the case.
Ultimately, union bosses’ anti-Right to Work lawsuit came
before the state Supreme Court, and, when it did, Right to Work attorney
William Messenger defended the ban on forced dues and fees, along with an
attorney for the state of Kentucky.
In November 2018, the Kentucky Supreme Court rejected union
lawyers’ claims and upheld the Right to Work law.
Small Towns as Well as Cities Are Now Gaining Good Jobs
With the threat of a judicially-imposed reimposition of
forced unionism out of the way, 2019 stands to be another great year for
Kentucky employees and businesses.
“An array of recent media reports show that numerous good
jobs are being created in the Bluegrass State’s small towns as well as in its
major cities,” noted Ms. King.
She pointed to the example of Precision Pulley and Idler
(PPI), which in December announced it would locate a $10.75 million
manufacturing operation in Maysville.
Maysville is a community of roughly 9,000 people located on
the Ohio River, 66 miles northeast of Lexington.
According to a January 2 report by Area Development,
the company plans to create 134 full-time jobs over the next 10 years in a
factory that will be located in an existing 105,000-square foot building.
Ms. King emphasized that the primary reason why Kentucky and
26 other states have enacted and implemented Right to Work laws is to ensure
that employees’ personal freedom to join or not join a labor union is
“But good jobs are an important additional benefit,” Ms.
“And the soon-to-be-built PPI manufacturing and distribution operation in Maysville is just one of many cases in point.”