BUSINESS, LABOR FACE OFF ON COMP

BUSINESS, LABOR FACE OFF ON COMP

The West Virginia Labor Federation will spend $126,000 to counter a $500,000 business campaign aimed at boosting support for the revamped Workers' Compensation Fund.

"We've been out-P.R.'ed. We have to repair the damage and start on our journey," said Joe Powell, president of the labor federation. "Money is the grease that keeps that wheel going in the political arena."The state Legislature this year changed the law to make it harder for workers injured on the job to obtain permanent disability benefits. Labor threatened to target legislators who voted for the change during the 1996 election.

Last week, several business groups, including the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, announced an ad campaign to boost support for the change.