GOP Strategy: When “Right to Work” Fails to Pass at State Level, Try it County by County

By Sahid Fawaz

Conservatives aren’t giving up when their “right to work” bills fail at the state level. They’re taking it to the counties.

Case in point: New Mexico.

The Albuquerque Journal reports:

“Right-to-work proponents, after failed attempts at the state Legislature, are now turning their attention to Sandoval County.

County Commissioners Jay Block and David Heil are sponsoring the proposal, which, if approved, would make Sandoval County the first county in New Mexico to have a right-to-work law.

Under right-to-work legislation, employees in unionized workplaces cannot be forced to join a union or pay union dues, while receiving the same benefits as union members who do contribute.

A similar move is planned in Bernalillo County. Commissioner Wayne Johnson said he will also propose right-to-work legislation, although he doesn’t have a draft yet and doesn’t have a timetable for introducing it.

Block and Heil say the legislation would help Sandoval County lure more businesses to the area and improve the local economy. Block said they based the measure on a similar ordinance approved by Hardin County, Ky.

Block, pointing to Sandoval County’s unemployment rate of 6.7 percent, said the measure is needed in an area that has seen the loss of thousands of jobs at the Rio Rancho Intel plant.

However, Jon Hendry, with the New Mexico Federation of Labor, says less union representation would mean lower-paying jobs.

His union promises to take the county to court if the commission approves the measure barring unions from imposing mandatory fees on workers.

The proposed ordinance is set to be introduced Thursday, Block said. It exempts public employee unions and existing private-sector union contracts.

An initial draft was discussed earlier this month at a raucous commission meeting that drew a capacity crowd.

Through the years, right to work has been a hotly contested issue in the state Legislature. Just this year, a Republican-backed effort to make New Mexico the nation’s 29th state with a right-to-work law failed.

A similar measure won House approval in 2015 but stalled in the Senate.

Pushing right-to-work legislation in Sandoval County is the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a Virginia-based group that is promoting similar legislation around the country.

The national group was founded by and has received funding from billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch.

For the rest of the story, check out the full piece here.

Subscribe to the Nations largest union directory and blog site!


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Senders Communications Group, 21201 Victory Blvd. #235, Canoga Park, CA, 91303, http://www.sendersgroup.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Featured Posts:

Giving Thanks: Labor 411’s 2018 Eagles

The world of labor has absorbed its share of body blows in 2018. We’ve already run down our list of ...
Read More

Labor 411’s 2018 Turkeys of the Year

2018 saw its share of bad players. As the stock market skyrocketed, the rich got richer while the marginalized continued ...
Read More
The Westin

Leave a Reply