Idaho Lawmakers Approve Anti-Union Bills
Idaho lawmakers have pushed through two bills aimed at undermining union influence in Idaho, sending the measures to Governor “Butch” Otter for signing into law. The first bill prohibits “project labor agreements” requiring contractors to forge pacts with unions as a condition of winning government construction jobs. The second forbids unions from using their membership dues to subsidize wages to help contractors with union workers win projects. After the November 2010 election solidified Idaho’s GOP majority, conservatives in both the state Senate and House have gone after unions with gusto this legislative session. Idaho is already a right-to-work state, where workers haven’t been required to join unions as a condition of getting a job since 1985. Democratic lawmakers, joined by only a smattering of Republican dissenters, insist the bills will drive down wages, take cash from workers’ pockets during a tough economy – and expose the state to lawsuits by unions whose private right to contract with their members was being undermined.