Following repeated failures, repeals and general controversy surrounding Right to Work, the GOP has quietly leaned on one of their newer tactics in enacting the legislation: introducing it at the county level. Despite the recent push, the latest efforts have results have been more than a little mixed.
Over the last few months, two counties found themselves battling localized versions of the same laws their state previously shot down.
In Delaware, Sussex County dealt the GOP two defeats within a single month. First, Councilman Rob Arlett abandoned the effort when the state attorney general’s office declared the measures exceeded his legal authority. The second defeat came when Rep. Ronald Grey (R-Selbyville) reintroduced the measure, despite warnings from the attorney general’s office, and still came up short on votes.
There are currently no plans for a third attempt.
On the other end of the spectrum, Sandoval County, New Mexico is celebrating the approval of their own Right to Work measures. The localized bill was passed after multiple failures at the state level and a declaration of overreach of legal authority by the state attorney general’s office.
“Because most states won’t roll over and accept Right to Work, advocates are choosing to play dirty,” said Richard Dalton, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 in Ohio. “Voters and representatives need to know that legality is an afterthought when it comes to Right to Work supporters implementing the legislation. That’s why it’s so important that we continue to fight.”
For both counties, as is the case with most of the U.S., experts, representatives and state officials have all expressed concern that the measures will throw state economies off balance, ultimately hurting jobs, wages and more.
The 2016 Republican sweep has fanned the flames of this controversial law as many states adopt the laws with little discussion. While many voters often don’t have a say in the matter, states like Missouri have taken advantage of seldom-used tactics to halt their implementation and give the power back to the people.
Right to Work is a collection of laws which impact the power of unions. Workers living in a Right to Work state aren’t required to join a union, however, if they do join, dues are completely optional. The union still must provide benefits and services for everyone, member or not.
The measures are presented as relief for workers. Money saved on dues allows better take-home pay, while business owners can invest money into the company which would normally be spent on bargaining.
Expert note, however, that money is rarely put back into the company and, as unions collapse without financial support, workers’ rights, privileges and wages shrink.
“Right to Work was never meant for ‘the little guy,’” said Dalton. “It has always been about rich politicians looking out for their richer friends.”
For more information on Right to Work in Ohio, visit: http://protectohiosmiddleclass.org
SOURCE: Keep Ohio's Heritage
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