Until now, Right to Work laws have been the subject of legislative debate. But in Minnesota and Ohio, the issue faces the prospect of being put before voters this fall.
Right to Work laws prohibit unions from collecting dues in a workplace, even when they represent its workers. Earlier this winter, Indiana became the first state in the Great Lakes to adopt a Right to Work, and the 23rd in the nation to do so.
Now, unions and other Right to Work opponents are vowing to go directly tio voters to plead their cause. Here’s a look at their strategy:
Minnesota: The Republican-controlled legislature has begun considering an amendment to the state constitution that would add Right to Work provisions. The step is taking place over the objections of the state’s Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.
On Monday, Right To Work opponents staged a protest at the capitol, filling hallways outside a committee hearing where the initial work took place. Regardless, a state Senate committee approved the measure, sending it on to a second committee.
It must still pass there, win Senate approval and go on to the House. A similar measure has been stalled in the lower chamber, and it isn’t clear whether the bill could pass. But because the measure would amend the constitution, it requires a referendum in November, so the legislature would not have the final say.
Ohio:The same group that fought Ohio’s law restricting public employee bargaining rights has vowed to take on the Right to Work issue. Our partner station ideastream reported on the efforts by We Are Ohio to keep a Right to Work law from taking effect in the state.
Meanwhile, in Indiana, Gov. Mitch Daniels contends the state’s new Right to Work law is already show results. Daniels told reporters on Monday that three companies have already decided to locate or expand in Indiana since the law was passed. Another 31 companies have expressed interest in coming to the state.
“I probably underestimated how important an addition to our already excellent business climate [right-to-work] was going to be,” Daniels said.