Frankfort, KY – Teamster Local 89, headed by President Fred Zuckerman, issued a blistering statement slamming the passage of a ‘right to work’ law and a measure repealing the prevailing wage.
The statement described the events in Kentucky’s state capitol: “Frankfort’s newfound disdain for workers was evident all throughout the week, starting last Wednesday when these laws were first heard in their respective committees. Hundreds of union members and supporters flocked to the state capitol that day. As ‘Right-to-Work’ and the repeal of Prevailing Wage were being heard, Kentucky workers were locked out of the hearings while wealthy men and women from organizations such as Americans For Prosperity, an extremely anti-worker group funded by out-of-state money, were allowed inside. As chants of ‘Let us in!’ and ‘Suits in there, boots out here!’ reverberated through the hallways of the Capital Annex, Governor Bevin further showed his disdain for the workers of this state by being escorted through the crowd to testify in favor of these anti-worker laws.”
The statement points out, “The notion that ‘Right-to-Work’ is about giving workers a choice on whether to be in a union or not is a laughably easy one to debunk. In Kentucky, 11% of jobs are union while 89% are non-union. When a worker goes out looking for a job, no one forces that worker to apply at a unionized shop and no one forces that worker to only select from the 11% union and not the much larger 89% non-union. If a worker chooses to apply for and accept a union job, they are doing so because they chose to. If they weighed union and non-union jobs against one another, and they ultimately chose to work at a unionized job then they did so because it offered greater wages, superior benefits, and unparalleled protection. These are things only possible because of the union contract at that job, and if they choose to accept those benefits as opposed to a non-union job which offers significantly less, then they are choosing to belong to the organization that made those things possible.”
The statement also notes. “To our members, rest assured that Teamsters Local 89 will never be defeated. As has been said many times in the last week, politicians did not create the American Labor Movement, and politicians will not destroy it. The Teamsters union has existed for over a century. We existed three decades before unions were legally recognized in the United States of America, and we will continue to exist long after Governor Bevin and his anti-worker friends are gone and forgotten. Our Local Union is widely known as one of the strongest, most militant in the Commonwealth. The passage of these laws will not change that, and in fact, they will only make us fight that much harder.”