Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd, joined Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, Thursday to announce their introduction of a constitutional amendment that would give Minnesotans the opportunity to vote on whether or not Minnesota workers should have the freedom to join a union or not. Currently, if someone is hired by a company with a collective bargaining agreement in place, that person is required to join the union or pay fair share dues.
“This is an employee rights bill and a jobs bill,” Gazelka said in a news release. Any employee should have the freedom to choose to join or not join a union and to pay or not pay union dues. This bill will make a union-employee’s union more responsive to his or her individual concerns. I’m proud to co-author this bill that puts decision-making back in the hands of the worker and helps our state economy move forward.”
If Minnesotans vote in favor of this amendment, every Minnesota worker would still have the right to join or support a labor union. Union employees would still be able to collectively bargain the same as under current law.
Thompson said states that have passed similar measures have experienced growth in business. He said from 1993 to 2009, private sector employment increased nearly 38 percent in those states versus only 19.6 percent in forced-unionism states.