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Thousands Of Union Workers Rally Against ‘Right To Work’

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(credit: CBS) Holly Wagner
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ST. PAUL (WCCO) — More than a thousand union workers will rally at the State Capitol Tuesday for what appears to be a victory celebration.

They’ve been fighting a proposed amendment that would weaken unions in the state.

It’s called the “Right to Work” bill and it lets workers decide on their own if they want to join a union and pay dues.

Opponents to the amendment think they’ve won the battle.

Representatives of AFSCME, who held the rally, say they’re still concerned this issue could wind up on the ballot in November.

They say it’s not a victory lap but a strong message to lawmakers that they don’t want to see this measure go to a vote.

“Anything can happen and we’ve seen that happen before,” said Eliot Seide, executive director of AFSCME. “We’ve gotta make sure that this bill, which is bad for Minnesota, which is unsafe, unfair and unnecessary for Minnesota, does not come out for a vote.”

The measure has stalled in the past and Republican leaders say they don’t intend on bringing it to a vote this session.

Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, who authored the bill said he’s disappointed and feels that his colleagues feel pressured that by putting this to a vote it would generate a large union turnout at the polls, hurting republicans.

“I’m talking about the fact that the Republicans have the opportunity to move this forward and we aren’t doing it,” Thompson said. “And nobody’s been able to make an argument that they don’t believe this is the right thing. And I don’t believe we should govern from a position of fear.”

More than 1,100 union members that are apart of this rally will later be marching to talk with their representatives to voice their opposition against the Right to Work amendment as well as the Voter ID amendment.

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