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Right-to-Work (For Less) Derailed in Minnesota

by Clyde Weiss  |  April 30, 2012

Minnesota state capitol
Minnesota State Capitol (Photo by Teresa Boardman)

A Minnesota right-to-work-for-less amendment is off the table, for now. That’s good news for public service workers – members of AFSCME Council 5 and Council 65 – who lobbied their state legislators in March to challenge an anti-worker agenda that includes passing the measure.

If it had been approved, and gone on to pass the Senate and signed into law, the amendment would have placed this question before voters in November: Should workers who are covered by collective bargaining contracts be able to avoid paying their fair share of the costs of representation?

"A lot of energy was spent on this issue,” said Steve Preble, executive director of AFSCME Council 65. “We now have to continue with that spirit through the elections in November.”

As the Legislature attempted to wrap up its business by today, the House voted 118-9 to table the measure in the early morning hours on Friday. That should be it for this session, and the activists of Councils 5 and 65 should be commended for their hard work building public opposition to the measure.

Behind this effort to undermine worker solidarity are corporations hoping to weaken worker strength by gutting union power, led by their secretive bill crafter, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Not surprisingly, right-to-work is among their legislative priorities. In February, Indiana became the 23rd state to adopt the anti-worker measure, modeled on an ALEC template.

Learn more here on why right-to-work (for less) is wrong for Minnesota.

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