I don’t need to tell you about the contentious fight currently being waged in the NM Legislature over anti-worker legislation (a.k.a Right-to-Work). You’ve seen the headlines, you’ve read our investigation of how these bills are years-in-the-making political ploys involving some of the right wing’s most perennial players…heck, you may have even attended the 5+ hour committee hearing last week (if you did, thank you!).

But you may have missed an incredible op-ed by State Senator Bill Soules that appeared today in KRWG’s online outlet. Here are a few highlights, but make sure to head over to KRWG to read the full piece:

The so-called “right-to-work” bills moving through the New Mexico Legislature are perfect examples of laws where spin and marketing are used to obfuscate, obscure, and confuse people about the real effects and purposes of the legislation…

The first such bill heard during this legislative session, House Bill 75 (HB75), is titled, “The Employee Preference Act” and purports to protect workers from being required to join a union and to pay union dues.  Federal law already provides those protections.  Those who are sponsoring the bill claim to be protecting employees from a practice they already enjoy. This is nonsense!

Sen. Bill Soules
Sen. Bill Soules

The legislation would allow non-union employees to benefit from union representation without paying the costs of representation.  During the first committee hearing, supporters of HB75 were all from the business community, not workers or labor.  Something else must be going on.  Why is management claiming to “protect” workers from something they are not asking for?  Is the purpose of this legislation to undermine the financial foundation of the labor organizations?  These are anti-labor and anti-union laws, plain and simple…

In other states this type of legislation has resulted in an average decline in hourly wages of about 3 percent and a decrease in worker benefits…

There is also no evidence that enacting these anti-labor laws would lead to improved economic outcomes or improved employment.  New Mexico should be trying to attract businesses that pay high wages, understand the benefits of working with employees instead of against them, and recognize that when we all do better, we all do better…

Make sure to also check out Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez’s “Governor’s Reports About Benefits of Right to Work are False” and Walt Rubel’s (of the Las Cruces Sun-News) piece about the GOP-led effort to make anti-worker legislation an extreme partisan issue.

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