Skip to comments.The Right-to-Work Fight You Aren't Hearing About [in New Mexico]
Posted on 03/10/2015 2:38:55 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
..Tamara Kay, a professor in the sociology department at the University of New Mexico, criticized right-to-work laws as "kindergarten math."
Much of the focus on fights over right-to-work laws has been on Rust Belt states like Michigan, Indiana, and now Wisconsin, as its governor and likely presidential candidate Scott Walker signed a right-to-work bill Monday.
But there's also a high stakes showdown underway in New Mexico. Late last month, the state's House of Representatives passed a right-to-work bill, setting up a face-off with the Senate, which could raise the profile of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, positioning her as a Walker-esque rising star for the GOP who is unafraid of challenging big labor.
Right-to-work laws prevent unions and employers from requiring that employees join a union or pay dues for representation. On the surface, the debate in New Mexico seems peculiar. In 2014, only 5.7 percent of workers in the state were members of a union and only 7.4 percent were represented by one, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But for the first time in more than sixty years, Republicans took control of the state's House of Representatives last year, and they re-elected Martinez. In her state of the state address, Martinez sold the policy as a matter of fairness and as a way to save money.
"The Governor supports allowing workers to decide for themselves whether to join a union or financially contribute to one, and doesn't believe anyone should be forced to join a union or contribute to one as a condition of employment," a spokesperson for Martinez said in an email.
On Tuesday, the state's Senate Public Affairs Committee is slated to debate and vote on the subject. But Majority Floor Leader Sen. Michael Sanchez said he does not think it has much likelihood of passing or even making it out of committee.
Paul Gessing, president of the Rio Grande Foundationwhich has written policy papers in support of right-to-worksaid he feels the bill is something that could start to bring much-needed economic development into the state.
"This was one idea that Republicans have that is politically popular, not costing taxpayers anything, and is right for workers," Gessing said. Gessing has testified before New Mexico's House Business and Employment Committee on how right-to-work laws have led employers to relocate to those states.
But the policy, and the supposed benefits its supporters are quick to highlight, are highly contested. Tamara Kay, a professor in the sociology department at the University of New Mexico, criticized right-to-work laws as "kindergarten math."
"I basically found that the best statistical studies suggest right-to-work will do nothing for economic growth," she told National Journal, adding that passing the law likely would lower employees' wages and reduce the likelihood of workers getting pensions or health benefits.
Gessing, meanwhile, pointed out that when electric carmaker Tesla Motors was looking for a state to place a factory, New Mexico was passed over in favor of Nevada, a right-to-work state.
"Certainly the experience with Tesla and the desire to make New Mexico competitive is another aspect," he said.
3-08-2015: "Gov. Walker to sign Right-to-Work bill at Badger Meter in Brown Deer BROWN DEER" (AP) Governor Scott Walker plans to sign the right-to-work bill on Monday, March 9th at a Milwaukee-area company whose leader spoke out in favor of the measure this week.
...... The Assembly passed it Friday morning on a party line vote with all Republicans in favor and all Democrats against.
What we`re gonna be seeing is a WEAKENING of the power of labor over the next couple years and along with that the WEAKENING of the power of the Democratic Party.
It`s almost like what we`re seeing (Monday) is the moment Wisconsin becomes a Republican state, UW-Milwaukee Professor Mordecai Lee said.. Source
If there is a place I expect to see expertise in Kindergarten math it is in the sociology department.
Hey CW, we are usually both on the same page. However I have to disagree re RTW. In Florida employees have used it as a tool to depress wages and to prevent employees from having any representation regarding their employment. As an employee and not an owner or manager in this state for 30 years, I have experienced first hand the boot on the neck repeatedly. The only recourse in an employer/employee dispute is usually some sort of state agency. Or else the EEOC. The former is (at least in Florida) nothing but a rubber stamp for businesses who pay the taxes. And the latter is nothing but a country club for minorities. If you are a white male forget the EEOC. You don’t qualify as a protected class. I cannot tell you how many times I had wished I had had union representation when going up against a mammoth corporate entity to try to save my job. After working for one of these corporate behemoths for dozens of years only to be almost literally kicked out at the last minute so it didn’t have to grant me my pension benefits.
By federal law pensions are vested after either 6 or 7 years, I can't remember which. If you worked "dozens of years", you have pension benefits coming when you reach retirement age whether you are union or not.
Sorry about including you in the reply Kaslin, I thought I was including the O.P., “Cincinatus’ Wife”.
My understanding is NM Democrats have shoved RTW legislation into 3 committees. The legislative session ends in a couple weeks. Thus, Dems have effectively killed RTW for another year...
Time for a total GOP sweep of New Mexico's legislature - for NM's Senate to go majority [R].
“”I basically found that the best statistical studies suggest right-to-work will do nothing for economic growth,” she told National Journal, adding that passing the law likely would lower employees’ wages and reduce the likelihood of workers getting pensions or health benefits.”
What RTW does is lower taxes by pulling the teeth of the public sector unions that rape their neighbors for more and more of their hard earned money through higher taxes.
Pensions are locked in after 5 years.
Seems you are a bit mis-informed as to freedom and liberty. If you don’t like your job, you are free to find another one, or start your own company where you can devise jobs exactly was you see fit.
What are you doing on FR with a pro union mindset?
I've been retired for 15 yrs., it's hard to remember details but I knew it was utter B.S. that without a union, companies could fire you after "dozens of years" to cheat you out of pension benefits.
You don’t get any sympathy from me. I once worked for a private corporation run by a really nasty, arbitrary and capricious idiot whom we called “The Ayatollah.”
I was miserable and underpaid. You know what I did? I QUIT after a year. A few years later, the company went out of business.
You have to remember that NOBODY has a right to a job. It was that business owner’s absolute right to be a cheap and miserable jerk, and my absolute right to quit. PERIOD.
...”a tool to depress wages...”?? The market sets wages.
I PROMISE you, your employer wants to pay you $1 per 1,000 years, or maybe have YOU pay him for the privilege of working for him. He doesn’t get his way, however, because THE MARKET sets wages.
The gov. CAN corruptly interfere, and set union wages higher than human freedom dictates, but that’s another, corrupt, story.
Yup, it's dead given the makeup of the Senate. And it really doesn't matter in NM as unions are mainly represented in state government, and only a few industries (a SE NM oil refinery, for example). The big problem for industries to relocate to NM is the labor force which is generally uneducated. The Democrats in the state are a combination of old school and "progressive" which is why NM is at the bottom of most national rankings except entitlements.
The non-union oil patch is made up of mostly small businesses supporting companies drilling and producing oil and gas. Life was good here with businesses and construction booming until last fall when crude prices crashed. Now many are laying off people and the remainder required to take pay cuts.
As low as these numbers appear, this is in reality more an effort to wrest control of public schools from the teachers' unions, and reestablish management authority over the state bureaucracy as well.
Where did I say I did not like my job? Are you crazy? Liking my job had nothing to do with it. Being railroaded out of it because the employer didn’t want to pay me a pension did. Why don’t you learn how to read a post in its entirety before you start slinging arrows? I don’t have a union mindset. I also don’t appreciate predatory employers who will use any angle to screw the little guy just because THEY CAN. And RTW does just that. It’s everything for the employer and nothing for the worker. I don’t need a statute to tell me I can leave an employer if I wish to do so. So who is the law really for? It just gives the employer the freedom to dump the worker for any reason or no reason with no legal liability and no implied contract. Talk to an attorney in Florida about suing your employer and see how fast he/she laughs at you. Truth is in a RTW state an employee is a non legal entity. You just don’t exist as a matter of law. So don’t be throwing words like freedom and liberty at me because you don’t know what you are talking about. BTW when was the last time you were fired from your job to save the employer a few bucks? These employers make you sign a waiver of your first amendment right to redress of grievances in a court of law. And those rights are supposed to be inalienable. Look it up if you don’t understand what that means. So why is a conservative LIKE YOU arguing against me in favor of employers who curtail MY FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS as a condition of employment? Do you know how to spell WAGE SLAVE? I didn’t think you did.
you are a liberal troll.......off to Huff Po with you. No one can be a good freeper and NOT like RTW. It’s called liberty.
What? Am I on trial now just because I don’t believe in RTW? So you are picking my post apart piece by piece. My how clever you are Sir. Definition of vesting is “nonforfeitable ownership (or partial ownership) by an employee of the retirement account balances or benefits contributed on the employees behalf by an employer”. Vesting after 6 years with an employer gets you maybe fifty bucks a month for six months. When you’ve amassed 25 or 30 years with a company then your pension is relatively substantial. That is the opportunity I and others were denied. So don’t play Human Resources word games with me.
Go away unionist.
Be against RTW all you want.
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