Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

House Approves Right-to-Work Resolution

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

House Approves Right-to-Work Resolution

Article excerpt

amendment to the state constitution passed the Oklahoma House of Repre sentatives on Monday.

The measure would outlaw all types of union contracts except the "open shop," the weakest form of union representation.

The vote was 58-41, capping an all-day battle that brought 2,000 union members to a morning rally at the state Capitol steps.

"We passed it with seven votes to spare," said Rep. Bill Brewster, D-Marietta, the House co-author of Senate Joint Resolution 30.

Fifty-one votes are required to pass a bill in the House.

The bill had barely squeaked through the Oklahoma Senate on a 26-20 vote on Jan. 16.

Brewster, however, wasn't beaming over his victory. On the House floor, he said:

"It's a question of the right to vote on the right to work."

Before a statewide election can be called on right-to-work, the bill's title must be restored.

Oklahomans rejected a right-to-work amendment to the state constitution in 1964 by 24,372 votes.

The bill next goes to a House-Senate conference committee for final rewriting.

Less than an hour after the vote, House Speaker Jim Barker said he would appoint two opponents of right to work to the conference committee - a maneuver that could kill the bill.

Union members - many waving signs and wearing caps with the slogan, "Right-to-Work is a Rip-Off" - had cheered Barker as he told the labor rally Monday morning why he opposed right-to-work.

"There still remains a group of people who would work people as cheap as they can," Barker said.

To that, someone in the crowd shouted: "Gaylord!", refering to Edward L. Gaylord, publisher of The Daily Oklahoman and an advocate of right-to-work.

The House speaker, a Muskogee Democrat, continued:

"A man told me that he wanted right-to-work to pass because then, if he wanted to, he could work somebody for $2 an hour," Barker said. …

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