Legislative Update & Call to Action

  • Post published:January 30, 2015
  • Post category:Issues

Call to Action on Minimum Wage Laws: HB 20, Raise Minimum Wage, sponsored by Representative Lucky Varela, and HB 138, Increase Minimum Wage, Representative Miguel Garcia, will be heard in the House Regulatory and Public Affairs Committee TODAY at 1:30 PM.

Legislative Update: We are pleased to announce that HB 75, Employee Preference Act, sponsored by Representative Dennis Roch passed in committee yesterday, as well as both Driver’s License bills, HB 32, Two-Tiered Driver’s Licenses, Pacheco and HB 79, Driver’s Licenses to Foreign Nationals, Rehm.

Why is Employee Free Choice or ‘Right to Work’ important? Here are some facts:

Employee Free Choice – also known as ‘Right to Work’ – gives employees of union operations the choice of whether or not they join a union. Under state law, no employee can be forced to join a labor union in order to work for an employer with a union-negotiated contract. In New Mexico and the other 25 states without Right to Work laws, employees covered by union contracts pay the share of union dues that covers the negotiation. In the 24 Right to Work states, non-union members pay no dues but work under the terms of the union-negotiated contract.

Some common misconceptions:

1) Only 6.2 percent of New Mexico’s workforce is union, so it really doesn’t matter if we pass this law. While it’s true that the percentage of the union workforce is very small in New Mexico, giving employees the choice is very important to our economy.

New Mexico is desperately trying to bring new business and industry into the state. Some relocation experts estimate that about one-third of all companies looking to relocate will not consider a state that does not allow the employee choice regarding union membership. We’ve also seen nationwide trends of employees moving into Right to Work states and out of those that are not. Could NM use a new industry investment of $1.75 billion and 6,000 new high paying jobs with benefits? Read more here.

2) Wages will drop without union representation. It’s hard to compare wages in New Mexico because union representation is either very low or exclusive. For example, you cannot compare wages between union and nonunion within the fire department because they are all union and there is nothing to compare. Read more here.

3) The poverty rate will increase because jobs will be lost. Actually the opposite is true. New Mexico will see new opportunities for businesses to come here when it provides employees the choice of union membership. Read more here.

4) Right to work is a union busting law. Right to Work simply gives employees the choice of whether or not they want to join a union and pay union dues. Unions that have worked hard for members’ rights and been prudent in spending union dues should find their members willingly continue membership after the law is passed. Unions that have not met their members’ expectations may lose some members. Read more here.

5) Right to Work is not very common. There are currently 24 states that are Right to Work states. Read more here.

6) From HumanEvents.com, Senator Michael Sanchez called Right to Work laws, “mean-spirited” because they lead to “… infant mortality and the likelihood of being killed on the job.” Sometimes incredulous statements are made to scare people into supporting or opposing an issue. Read more here.