Montana is surrounded, literally, by “right to work” states. Idaho, North and South Dakota, and Wyoming all have “right to work” laws.
Republicans in the state made a strong push this year to change Montana’s status to that of its neighboring states. But they were defeated handily.
“By a wide margin, the Montana House has rejected a bill to implement “right-to-work” in the state. It was the latest in a series of bills restricting unions that have fallen short at the Legislature this week.
On Tuesday morning, the House voted 62-38 against House Bill 251, sponsored by Rep. Caleb Hinkle, a Republican from Belgrade. The bill would have stated people cannot be forced to join or pay dues to a union as a condition of employment and required that they give written approval to have any money for the union deducted from their paycheck.
29 Republicans joined all 33 Democrats in opposing HB 251, while the remaining 38 Republicans supported it.
The vote came after hundreds of union members filled the Montana State Capitol Monday and Tuesday as a show of opposition to the bill.
‘I believe the presence here at the Capitol made a huge difference in the vote – having everybody here as one, our local brothers and sisters here,’ said CJ Schultz, president of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 30 in Billings.
Schultz said about 50 members of his union were at the Capitol Tuesday. He said they made the trip over to oppose a bill they saw as an attack.”
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