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New Mexico Federation of Labor

New Mexico Bans Right to Work

The bill, which is headed to the Governor's desk, would make local Right to Work laws illegal

Brian Young's picture
Mar 11, 2019

The New Mexico Legislature has passed a new law that would outlaw local Right to Work ordinances and bring local laws in line with the states free bargaining status.

The move comes after 10 of the states 33 counties have passed local Right to Work laws. Since the state is already free bargaining these local laws had little actual impact, but the vote does re-affirm their commitment to strong unions. However, Democrats wanted to pass the bill to ensure that there was one unified law and to protect local governments from an onslaught of lawsuits from unions who are looking for clarity on which rules they are expected to work under.

The local laws have been backed by national conservative groups like Americans for Prosperity which has been lobbying Republican Senators to support Right to Work. When the vote occurred all 16 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted for local Right to Work ordinances, while 23 Democrats voted to make the entire state free bargaining.

Since the bill has already passed the state assembly, it will now head to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's desk. The Democratic Governor has not commented on whether or not she will sign the bill into law.

About 8% of New Mexico residents are members of a union. Although that is low on a national level, New Mexico ranks second in the mountain region.


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