Despite our efforts over the weekend and at the Committee Hearing this morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 7-6 to pass the Right to Work Amendment on to the Senate Rules Committee. The key points we made were:
· The average wage and benefits in right to work states is significantly lower than in non-right to work states. Reducing the disposable income of Minnesota workers is bad for Minnesota workers and their families and for the entire State's economy. In that respect, this bill hurts all workers, whether or not they presently belong to a union.
· This bill is intended to and will financially cripple unions. Contrary to what some are saying, this bill IS about COLLECTIVE bargaining. "Collective" means a group taken as a whole. A union serves the common good of all similarly situated workers in the same way a condo association serves the common interest of all owners in a condominium community. We don't allow some owners to escape paying their fair share of the costs of protecting the common good - we should not do so for unions either.
· Eliminating a union's financial ability to serve its members is no different than legislatively taking away the right to collectively bargain.
· This legislation is unnecessary and unfair.
The Republicans voting in favor of this bill and against your interests were: Limmer (Maple Grove); Newman (Hutchinson); Hall (Burnsville); Hoffman (Vergas); Jungbauer (East Bethel); Ortman (Chanhassen); and Thompson (Lakeville). The only Republican to vote against the bill was Senator Ingebrigtsen (Alexandria).
We know that many of you did contact the Senators on the Judiciary Committee. We now ask that you contact the Republican members of the Rules Committee and your Senator. The reason we ask you to contact your Senator is that, in the event the bill makes it to the floor of the Senate, it is important for all of them to have heard from constituents who oppose this bill.
The contact information for the members of the Senate Rules committee is:
Senator Warren Limmer
Senator David Senjem
Senator Michelle Fishbach
Senator Chris Gerlach
Home: not listed
Senator Geoff Michel
Senator Claire Robling
Senator Julianne Ortman
To find the contact information for your senator, click on the following link: http://www.gis.leg.mn/OpenLayers/districts/
Don’t be fooled by the Republican claims that this bill does not take away collective bargaining or that this is to help employees by giving them a choice. This bill is simply bare-knuckle politics intended to cripple Unions as the last chance for working people to have any say in a political system that is dominated by money. Our wages, working conditions and standard of living are under attack. We must defeat this bill.