Minnesota Republican Sen. Dave Thompson’s ‘right-to-work’ bill passed the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.
If passed, the legislation would ban the requirement that workers who are employed in unionized jobs join those unions and pay union dues.
More than 1,500 construction workers, government workers, electricians, police officers, teachers and other unionized workers flooded the state capitol on Monday, holding signs and chanting “Kill the bill” and “Stop the war on workers.”
After several emotional hours of urging legislators to reject the proposed so-called “right-to-work” constitutional amendment, the state Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee voted 7 to 6 to pass the bill on to the full House and Senate.
These are the same controversial attempts to weaken unions we have seen tried in Indiana and Wisconsin over the past year.
In Indiana, a “right-to-work” bill was signed into law in February, making it the 23rd “right-to-work” state. In Wisconsin, Republican Gov. Scott Walker pushed through a measure last year to eliminate most bargaining rights for public employees. In an effort to recall Walker, Democrats delivered more than 1 million signatures in support of the recall effort.
“We’re just trying to keep our benefits,” Jesse Schultz, a pipe layer from Otsego, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “If they take out the middle class, they take out the backbone of America.”
The Minnesota “right-to-work” bill now awaits action by the full House and Senate in that state. If it passes both, it would be submitted to voters as a ballot measure in November.
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