Maine lawmakers team-up to take down Right to Work

Ohio Right to Work opponents commend the state legislature there for keeping the damaging legislation at bay
(PR NewsChannel) / June 29, 2015 / COLUMBUS, Ohio 

Flag-of-MaineIn a move that surprised many labor supporters, especially in Ohio, Maine’s latest Right to Work effort was taken down with help from an unlikely source… state Republicans.

Backed by Republican Gov. Paul LePage, the latest Right to Work bill was defeated 21-14 in the Republican-controlled state Senate. The Senate’s vote follows a similar result in the Democrat-controlled House earlier this month.

State lawmakers also struck down another pair of bills that were deemed “anti-worker” by opponents.

It’s a move that has many union supporters giving credit where credit is due.

“It’s refreshing to see lawmakers coming together to do what’s right for their constituents,” says Richard Dalton, business manager of Ohio’s International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 . “As long as lawmakers keep the best interests of voters at heart, we intend on seeing Right to Work continue to fail across the country.”

In 2011, with Republicans controlling both chambers of the state legislature, Right to Work advocates failed to make Maine the first New England state to enact the controversial legislation.

Despite a history of pushback from the state legislature, Gov. LePage has insisted that Right to Work is necessary to the state’s growth.

“I’m thankful that common sense prevailed in the past,” said Sen. John Patrick (D-Rumford) in response to the future of Right to Work in Maine. “I don’t believe that anything has changed.”

In light of the developments in Maine, labor advocates are praising the state’s resilience. Dalton, a veteran of Ohio’s Right to Work battle, believes this attitude is what’s needed to defeat the legislation.

“As long as we continue to work together and stay ahead of the curve, we can continue to keep Right to Work at bay,” said Dalton. “We need to do everything in our power to inform voters on the dangers of this type of legislation and that it ultimately doesn’t have their best interests in mind.”

Opponents of the recent Ohio Right to Work effort, including the “Workplace Freedom” bills, contend that the initiative’s true purpose is to kill unions and worker protections, ultimately leading to a weaker middle class.

Whether they call it “Paycheck Protection,” “Workplace Freedom” or Right to Work, opponents of the efforts remain dedicated to ensuring the voting public knows the truth about the GOP’s divisive agenda.

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SOURCE:  Keep Ohio's Heritage

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