UFCW MEMBERS RALLY TO DEFEAT ANTI-WORKER LEGISLATION
Well it did not take New Mexico UFCW members long to realize that workers already have the right to work, and the misleading Right-to-Work legislation is nothing more than another push by Corporate America, and wealthy special interest groups to widen the prosperity gap even further between the top 1% and the remaining 99%. Groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, Home Builders Association, Koch Brothers, Governor Martinez, and many wealthy business owners, are pushing for this legislation because it benefits them, not the working middle class New Mexico Citizens. The average worker in states with “Right-to-Work” laws makes $1,540 a year less when accounting for cost of living in each state. Median household income in states with these laws is $6,437 less than in other states.
UFCW 1564 was the leader in Santa Fe in seeing this anti-worker legislation exposed and defeated. UFCW Local 1564 members wrote over 1,400 handwritten letters to their legislator, submitted over 800 hand delivered post cards, lobbied Senators and House Representatives at the Capitol, walked neighborhoods, phone called their legislator, and spoke at every hearing held in the House and Senate, all in an effort to combat the untruthful information that Right-to-Work would increase jobs or the economy in New Mexico. Did you know that eight of the twelve states with the highest unemployment rates are Right-to-Work states?
Right-to-Work is simply a race to the bottom as it weakens the middle class, lowers wages, pension benefits, health benefits and even lowers safety standards for workers, which is why workers in Right-to-Work states have higher work fatality rates. Right-to-Work states have higher unemployment rates. Did you know that eight of the twelve states with the highest unemployment rates are Right-to-Work states? Right-to-Work is a confusing, complicating and unnecessary piece of legislation that CEOs and Corporate
America is pushing in our country.
Right-to-Work limits collective bargaining rights, and hurts everyday heroes we count on like firefighters, nurses, and teachers. By making it harder for workers to join together to collectively bargain for needed emergency equipment, safe patient staffing ratios in hospitals, smaller class sizes and school safety, our communities suffer. Of the 10 states with the least spending on public services, eight are Right-to-Work states. And of the 10 states that spend the least on public education, nine are Right-to-Work states. (Kaiser Family Foundation, National Association of State Budget Officers, Governing Magazine 2013).
The Middle Class is the life blood of our economy and without them our economy suffers drastically. Middle class workers fuel our communities, drive our economy, and shape the future. Workers need good paying jobs to put money back into their community. But too many of us are struggling, worrying about retirement, worrying about our jobs, wishing we had time for the things that matter. We need politicians focused on our needs, not the needs of CEOs who only care about their profits and bonuses. Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez is a hero to the working Middle class families of New Mexico. During the sixty day session Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez endured every sort of retaliation and threat from Governor Martinez and the anti-worker media. It was the Democratic Senators that saved our great state.
Governor Martinez is not a friend of organized labor. Her interests and actions in regards to labor are very far from the working middle class and union households. UFCW members are thankful for the Democrat Senators that stood strong and kept our state from being a highlight in our Governor’s resume for her future political endeavors. We are preparing for another big push by the Governor to make New Mexico an anti-worker state in the upcoming 2016 legislature.
Special thanks to all the UFCW members that took the time to write a letter, deliver a post card, lobby in Santa Fe, make a phone call, or attend a hearing. The work has only just begun and we look forward to your continued support and help.