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Minnesota State Senator Dave Thompson, an extremist closely aligned to the tea party, introduced legislation to put a right-to-work (for less) amendment on the ballot in the state for the 2012 election. The legislation will go through the Republican-controlled legislature with no problem. And despite the fact that the state's governor is Democrat Mark Drayton, who is certain to veto the bill, Republicans in the legislature have the numbers to override the veto. The amendment is certain to make it to the November ballot, where its fate is much more uncertain, with the Minnesota electorate being more moderate than its legislature.
Republicans in the state have also put an anti-gay marriage amendment on the November ballot in hopes to drive conservative voters, who might be a little less than excited about the Republican presidential nominee, to the polls on election day. Thompson's arguments in favor of the right-to-work legislation echo those seen in other states and the law mimics proposals put forth by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is pushing corporate-sponsored bills in numerous states in recent years.
He told KSTP that the bill would give workers the choice to join a union or not. In the event they decline, they don’t pay dues, he said. All unions, both public and private, would be affected, but collective bargaining rights would not be altered, he said.
Shar Knutson, who heads the state’s AFL-CIO, told MinnPost that she isn’t surprised by Thompson’s bill.
“What we saw today is identical to what we’ve seen in Ohio and Wisconsin,” she told MinnPost. “This is a national effort being pushed by corporate interests.”
As previously reported, the arguments that employees can be forced to join unions are false and the other arguments in favor of right-to-work laws are all bogus. The real agenda behind the laws is to weaken unions and to assault the rights of working families.