March 21, 2013 14:43
Peggy Shorey, director of state government relations and deputy director of government affairs at the AFL-CIO, says attacks on labor aren’t as vicious as they were two years ago.
But make no mistake about it, the opponents of labor are still out to gut the rights of workers and their wages. Shorey discussed the legislative battles that labor unions are facing around the country at the IAFF Legislative Conference in Washington, DC.
What’s notable is that Right-to-Work legislation has been introduced in 16 states. Some of those states include: New Mexico, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and West Virginia.
There are four states that already have Right-to-Work laws on the books, but are now trying to enshrine language into the state constitution. Virginia defeated an effort to change its constitution. Labor unions have helped to defeat Right-to-Work laws in Colorado and New Hampshire recently.
Lawmakers also continue to overreach on collective bargaining.
Labor leaders are concerned about a local effort to take away the rights of workers in Anchorage, Alaska. A city ordinance has been proposed to radically gut municipal employees’ right to bargain collectively. Workers believe this is an attempt to silence their voices in the workplace before the municipal elections in April.
In addition, voter suppression continues to be a hot button issue with at least 27 states having introduced legislation to make it harder for voters to get to the ballot booth.