FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Right-to-work coming to Maine?
That’s the plan, at least. The current situation in Maine is as follows: people don’t have to belong to a union to work, but non-union employees (both private and public sector) may still have to pay the unions a ‘service fee.’ This supposedly represents the recouping of the cost of unions ‘representing’ non-union members in labor disputes – whether or not the non-union members wanted to be part of the labor dispute in the first place – and it’s a common feature in contract negotiations in Maine. There’s legislation going through the state legislature right now to close that loophole; new Maine governor Paul LePage (R) is enthusiastically supporting it.
Whether this will work or not will largely be up to the Maine grassroots. Maine is currently majority-Republican in both houses of the state legislature, but it’s, well, Maine: I found LePage to be pretty tough-minded, but there’s a limit to how much he can do without legislative backup. And, needless to say, the unions have already begun the usual reactionary Koch conspiracy theorizing. Everybody involved is expecting a fight; and the impression is that Governor LePage, at least, is looking forward to it. Interesting times ahead…
Moe Lane (crosspost)