In a win for labor, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed House Bill 85 into law, prohibiting counties and other local entities from enacting their own right-to-work laws.
Sponsored by Democratic Reps. Daymon Ely and Andrea Romero, the bill-turned-law invalidates right-to-work resolutions passed in 10 counties and one village.
“The passage of HB 85 Union Security Agreements is a victory for all working families in New Mexico,” the New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO said in a press release. “Deceptive and divisive ‘right to work’ laws have no place in our state.
“With HB 85 now signed into law, we hope county and municipal officials will focus on actually creating good jobs, promoting healthy communities, and making our state a better place to live for all working families.”
Ohio Assistant State Legislative Director Ralph Leichliter sent along a notice that the Ohio House of Representatives is going to begin discussions Tuesday, Nov. 13 in Columbus about H.B. 53 — yet another attempt in the Buckeye State to get Right to Work for Less legislation passed.
Leichliter says that this bill aims to destroy union membership among public sector employees.
“We have to get a message out to our representatives ASAP to let them know that their constituents oppose this bill. As labor advocates, it’s important to protect the collective bargaining power of all workers, and to push back against the war on unions,” Leichliter said.
The primary sponsor of this attack on unions is Ohio Rep. John Becker (R – Dist. 65).
To fight back, you can send a message to your state representatives using the following links:
This is an important year for the direction of our country, and as we do on the roads and on the rails of these great United States, SMART Transportation Division will lead the way.
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HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — The results of Tuesday’s elections, while not the absolute best-case scenario for labor, indicated that voters might be ready to end the one-party majority in the federal government in three months’ time, said SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Director John Risch at the opening session of the last day of the 2018 Regional Meeting at the Hilton Diplomat Resort.
A special election campaign in Ohio saw both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence appear in support of Troy Balderson, who was running to finish out the remaining months of a term in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District. The seat was left vacated by fellow-Republican Pat Tiberia.
Yet even with the top two Republicans in the nation trying to give Balderson some momentum, he defeated Danny O’Connor, a relatively unknown Democrat, by 1 percent, according to unofficial results Tuesday. The 12th District, which includes Ohio’s capital Columbus, was carried by Trump by more than 11 points in the 2016 presidential election, according to The Associated Press.
Balderson and O’Connor will square off again in November for a full term to represent the district in Congress, and the result could be different with such a narrow margin.
Missouri’s special election Tuesday brought better news for labor, in what has been “a solidly red” state, Risch said.
Proposition A, a labor-led referral effort to repeal right-to-work legislation, was successful with 67 percent of voters voting to repeal a right-to-work law in place. Thirty-three percent of voters voted to keep the law, according to unofficial results. Labor faced much opposition with the Koch brothers leading an underground deceptive ‘yes vote’ effort that would have kept the right-to-work law in place. Missouri would’ve been the 28th state with such legislation in place had the referral not been successful.
“Even with all the deceptiveness, even with all the ways in which they tried to tilt the playing field in their favor – all of that, we won in Missouri,” Risch said.
He said a majority of voters in Missouri understood and recognized that Proposition A’s backers were trying to undermine the ability of unions to get better wages, fringe benefits and improve safety through deceptive direct mailings and other tactics.
“When they understand this, they vote the right way,” Risch said. “They vote for themselves, they vote for their unions, they vote for the ability to do something in the workplace.”
Risch feels that this victory, as well as victories by teachers in West Virginia, Arizona and Colorado this year, could signal a turning point for workers in the fight against income inequality.
“I see a trend, I see a movement across this country,” he said. “I think the tide is turning. I hope the tide is turning because we can’t go the other direction much longer.”
SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Director John Risch addresses attendees Wednesday, Aug. 8 at the opening session of the final day of the Hollywood, Fla., Regional Meeting.
Missouri voters voted decisively on Tuesday, August 7 when they overwhelmingly rejected a right-to-work (for less) law that would have divided work forces and limited the freedom to negotiate in private-sector workplaces.
Unions gathered enough signatures to send the question to voters. This comes after then-Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican, signed a Republican-backed right-to-work bill that was challenged through a major signature gathering operation put on by the Missouri labor movement.
Seeing the inevitable momentum that came from Missouri working families banding together, Missouri Republicans tried to sneak the vote into the August primary to lessenlabor’s momentum. They are also hoping people will forget the GOP’s right to work (for less) support this coming November.
CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=785425
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — SMART Transportation Division General Counsel Kevin Brodar minced no words Tuesday, Aug. 7, when describing the 5-4 Janus v. AFSCME decision written by United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito that was released this summer.
“His hate and loathing — and that’s being kind — for unions and working people drips from every page of this opinion, if that’s what you want to call it — an opinion,” Brodar said. “It’s less an opinion but more a right-wing manifesto as to how to eliminate unions.”
The 45-page Janus ruling taking away the ability of unions in the public sector to collect agency fees from “free-riders” has been an important topic at SMART TD’s Hollywood, Fla., regional meeting. In Monday’s combined opening session with Sheet Metal and TD sides in attendance, SMART General President Joseph Sellers Jr., General Secretary-Treasurer Rich McClees and TD President John Previsich all mentioned the precedent-destroying case.
Brodar, during the opening session of the second day, went into even more detail on the ruling.
“What Justice Alito tries to sell here is the two-century-old idea that unionism is just an excuse for legalized extortion,” Brodar said, holding up a printed copy of Alito’s opinion. “This case is an attack on working people. It’s an attack on all unions, not just public-sector unions. It’s an attack on this union.
“This is an attack on every one of you who goes out and does the hard work of defending the members, who goes out and does the hard work of standing against the tide of the carriers, who goes out and does the hard work of the long and tedious hours.”
Big-moneyed interests and industries have exacted a toll on workers throughout history – in injuries, blood and in some cases, human lives, Brodar said. In the early days of the labor movement, workers’ efforts to organize sometimes were met with armed responses intended to put down their resistance.
“No matter how many people were killed, however, the industrialists and the right-wingers and the conservatives and the business interests could not kill the idea of unions,” Brodar said. “They could not kill the cause because the cause is a righteous cause … You are the heirs to that fight.”
Those same forces that tried to suppress unions in the past exist today in the form of union foes such as Alito, the Koch brothers, the Federalist Society and other billionaire backers, Brodar said. This time, those enemies of labor are playing a long game with the Janus ruling being one step in their attempts to kill unions.
“Their new tactic is death from strangulation. They hope to dry up the union funds until the unions can no longer function and they just disappear and go away,” Brodar said.
The Janus decision “is essentially a green light for people to freeload” from public-sector unions, he said, and private sector unions likely will be next to be targeted.
“Look at the people sitting next to you. This affects your brothers and sisters in this room, in this union today, tomorrow,” Brodar said. “If you don’t think they are coming for the private sector, wake up and smell the coffee. That’s the next thing that is going to happen.”
Members will have to make a choice to fight back to preserve that which gives them a middle-class lifestyle, Brodar said. They can do that by educating their fellow members, their friends, neighbors and anyone else they can about what these anti-union forces are trying to accomplish through stacking the courts, trying to get right-to-work-for-less laws and other means.
“It’s up to us to respond. We can’t sit back, because if we do, we will disappear,” Brodar said. “We need to go out and educate every member every day, every way.”
SMART Transportation Division General Counsel Kevin Brodar holds up a printout of the Janus v. AFSCME decision on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at the second day of the SMART TD regional meeting in Hollywood, Fla., as TD President John Previsich, left, listens.
SMART Transportation Division Colorado State Legislative Director Carl Smith reports that efforts by some state legislators to advance a Right to Work For Less bill were stopped in committee.
By a 6-3 vote, members of the state House’s Colorado House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee voted to postpone the bill indefinitely, effectively killing it.
It was the second time in two years that politicians in Colorado tried to undermine the right to union representation in that state, Smith said.
He said that many SMART members from both TD and sheet metal sides turned out Jan. 24 in Denver to have their voices heard by legislators.
The bill, this time known as HB18-1030 “Prohibit Discrimination Labor Union Participation,” was primarily sponsored by state Rep. Justin Everett and state Sen. Tim Neville, both Republicans.
Ten additional representatives and two additional senators also were signed on as sponsors of HB18-1030. The representatives were Perry Buck, Stephen Humphrey, Timothy Leonard, Kimmi Lewis, Patrick Neville, Kim Ransom, Lori Saine, Kevin Van Winkle, Dave Williams and Cole Wist.
The senators were Chris Holbert and Vicki Marble.
SMART TD members in Colorado are encouraged to vote accordingly the next time they see these politicians’ names listed on the ballot.
CBS affiliate WKBN reports that two Republican Ohio lawmakers want to try once again to make Ohio a right-to-work state.
Representatives John Becker (Dist. 65) and Craig Reiden (Dist. 82) are proposing six different right-to-work measures for the 2020 ballot. This comes just seven years after Senate Bill 5 (S.B. 5), another right-to-work measure, was shot down by Ohio voters by a two to one margin.
These measures are different than S.B. 5 in that they seek to add right-to-work language to the Ohio constitution instead of creating state laws.
The goal of this type of legislation ultimately is to reduce your wages – to take money out of your pocket and to further line the pocketbooks of businesses at your expense. Right to Work For Less bills are falsely portrayed by their corporate-friendly backers as anti-discriminatory or as preserving individual rights. In reality, this kind of legislation is a thinly-veiled attempt to bust unions, to jeopardize union members’ livelihoods by making workplaces more dangerous and to maximize business profits by paying you less.
In 2008, Colorado voters were on our side and overwhelmingly rejected a ballot initiative that tried to install Right to Work For Less legislation in the state.
But since then, Smith said, misguided anti-union legislators have continued to introduce Right To Work For Less bills.
In this latest attempt, Colorado Rep. Justin Everett and state Sen. Tim Neville, both Republicans, are the primary sponsors. Everett’s office phone number is 303-866-2927. Neville’s is 303-866-4873.
Ten additional representatives and two additional senators also are signed on as sponsors of HB18-1030.
Once we have come together to crush this legislative attack on our union and others, SMART TD members in Colorado are encouraged to remember this betrayal and to vote accordingly the next time they see these politicians’ names on the ballot.
Stuart Gardner, SMART TD Ohio State Legislative Director
Ralph Leichliter, SMART TD Ohio Assistant State Legislative Director
The SMART TD Ohio State Legislative Board’s Director Stuart Gardner and Assistant Director Ralph Leichliter went on The Union Edge: Labor’s Talk Radio to explain to listeners why Right-to-Work is Wrong not just for Ohioans, but for all working families.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The first step in the process to mandate a minimum of two-person freight train crews in Ohio (H.B. 107) occurred Wednesday, March 29, when the Ohio Transportation & Safety Committee held its first hearing on the bill.
To make H.B. 107 a law in Ohio, we need TD union members, friends, family and anyone who cares about the safety of workers and the safety of our communities to click the link below to send a message to the members of the Ohio Transportation & Safety Committee, urging them to support this vital safety measure.
TAKE ACTION! Take a minute and click here to send a message in support of Ohio H.B. 107. Please share with friends and family to do the same!
TAKE ACTION IN YOUR STATE! Email us news of two-person crew or right-to-work (IS WRONG) legislation in your state to News_TD@smart-union.org.
TAKE ACTION by calling members of the Ohio Transportation & Safety Committee (phone numbers listed below). Ask your Representatives to support H.B. 107 and thank the sponsors and co-sponsors for their support.
Ohio House Transportation & Safety Committee members (in order by district):
DENVER, Colo. – On Wednesday, March 16, the Colorado State Senate shot down SB 55 that called for Colorado to become a Right-to-Work (for less) state. The packed chambers included union members from all crafts. Click here to read the entire article from the Denver Business Journal.
Click here to send a quick message to your Congressional reps in opposition of the National Right-to-Work Act, HR 785.