House Republicans are bringing a “Right to Work” bill in front of the Government Operations & Elections committee tonight. The legislation would weaken collective bargaining and undermine union strength. States with right to work laws have significantly higher levels of poverty, lower wages, and a rate of workplace deaths over 50% higher than states that don’t restrict collective bargaining.
Republicans say these laws are designed to improve Minnesota’s economy, but Right to Work laws are an economic race to the bottom that seeks to disenfranchise working people for the benefit of large corporations and political gain. It’s no surprise that Republicans and are pushing this legislation. After all, Republicans have time and time again prioritized corporations and big businesses ahead of working Minnesotans.
This bill specifically targets state workers, meaning state union members would take home less money, have less paid time off, and even restricts what union members are allowed to do with their free time. It’s another attempt by Republicans to drag Minnesota backwards and follow failed policies of states like Wisconsin, who Minnesota’s economy constantly outperforms.
Like so much of what House Republicans are focusing on this session, Right to Work faces certain veto from Governor Dayton and no support in the DFL-controlled Senate. Unfortunately, Republicans are more concerned with catering to their ultra-conservative base and corporate backers than with moving forward with any semblance of an agenda to benefit all Minnesotans.