BY JOHN CHEVES AND JACK BRAMMER
JANUARY 7, 2017 10:19 AM
FRANKFORT – Angry labor union members on Saturday said they don’t know how they became public enemy No. 1 in Kentucky’s 2017 legislative session.
Hundreds of workers in boots and heavy coats poured onto every public floor of the state Capitol to loudly protest final passage of three bills that they say will weaken unions and reduce construction workers’ wages.
“It’s an attack on the working people,” said Chris Kendall, 44, a member of Local 184 of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union in Paducah.
“It’s almost like we’re the enemy somehow, that it’s the politicians against us,” Kendall said. “And all we’re trying to do is earn an honest day’s wage.”
Said Bruce Rowe, a Pike County truck driver who belongs to Local 14581 of United Steelworkers, “This will just be awful for our communities. Once you cut our pay, your tax base goes down, and we’ve got less money to spend at Wal-Mart and buying cars and getting groceries for our families and shoes for our kids.”