Friday, March 16, 2012

Open Letter to MN Senator Ortman Regarding Right to Work

Dear Senator Ortman,
     My name is Leann Bosquez I reside in Maple Grove, MN. I am in Senator Limmer’s district but because of the redistricting, my next vote cast will be in your district.

I am writing to ask you to oppose the misnomer “Right to Work” that carries the even more misleading title, “Freedom of Employment Act”.   What I have heard from many on both sides of the political aisle is that we stand together in opposing this amendment. There has been a terrible division in our state and country. I commend Senator Ingebrigtsen for the valid points he made at the hearing. I implore you to consider the safety concerns that he pointed out and refuse to allow this to be a party war rather than the serious issue that it is.

Current structures in Labor Unions are similar to the electoral process we have in our American Governments.
All employees have the legal right to choose to unite as one voice to discuss and reach agreements with their employer. When the majority of employees vote to form a Union; they decide to pool their money and elect people to represent them. Meetings are held and votes are taken within this pool of employees as to who represents them and what arrangements they would like to make with the employers. Just as citizens can choose to attend their Caucus or not and to vote or not, so do Union members have the choice to attend their Union meetings or not and to vote on Union representatives and issues, or not.
There is no mandate requiring membership in a Union. Where employers and employees have made the mutual agreement to provide the benefits of having a Labor Union; there are, as with many other benefits and work rules; costs involved. Employees choosing to be members and have full benefits pay dues. Federal Law dictates that non-members have access to the Union should they have an employer dispute or want other supports. Non-Union members share in the benefits of bargaining. I see no reason for the expense of these non-members to be placed on the Union, which is in essence their unionized co-workers.

I was employed as an employer at a non-Union company that required uniforms for customer service employees. As a non-negotiable work rule, we decided to change the uniform design, however we asked interested employees to vote on which design they preferred. The votes were not unanimous. We used the votes of the majority to put in place which uniforms were required. Each employee purchased their own uniform. Not one employee asked for a State Constitutional Amendment requiring that they not pay because they did not get the design of their choice.

“Right to Work” is Government over-reach that forces a cost burden on employees that choose to Unionize. I am shocked that some Legislators think that non-Union members are entitled to have Union benefits without having to pay the cost of them. “Fair share” payments are not “dues”. “Fair Share” only pays the cost burden of non-members. When deciding whether to accept a position of employment, people normally consider wage, benefit packages, and how these combinations will affect their personal wants and needs. People can choose to work in a Union shop or a non-Union shop just as they can consider other options existing within potential places of employment.

Companies that offer employees to purchase life insurance do not require the purchase. However, life insurance companies are not required to pay benefits to those who do not buy coverage. If law dictated that every company offering life insurance to employees had to provide coverage to those purchasing it as well as those who don’t, would you support freeloaders getting this for free at the expense of others? I hope not.

I ask you Senator; please openly oppose amending our Constitution to mandate decisions made between employers and employees be paid solely by some rather than all who benefit. Please vote no and stop this from moving to the Senate Floor.

Leann Bosquez

“In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone…Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do this to us. We demand this fraud be stopped. Our weapon is our vote.” —Martin Luther King, speaking about right-to-work laws in 1961

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