Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Chambers Urge Right-to-Work Vote

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Chambers Urge Right-to-Work Vote

Article excerpt

Oklahoma chamber of commerce officials called on Senate leaders Monday to allow a statewide vote on right to work.

What the chamber and economic development representatives want is for Senate President Pro Tempore Stratton Taylor, D-Claremore, to allow senators to vote on a right-to-work referendum. If both legislative houses approve, the issue would be put to a vote of the people in November.

Chamber officials say they have commitments from a majority of senators to pass a right-to-work referendum.

"The effort you see today is the culmination of grass-roots lobbying by chamber and economic development executives from across the state," said Richard P. Rush, president and CEO of The State Chamber. "If Senator Taylor will let the entire Senate vote on the referendum on right to work, we believe it will pass."

Rush and the other chamber executives are asking Taylor to bring House Bill 2659 to the floor of the Senate, allow an amendment on the referendum to be placed in the bill, then allow the entire senate to vote on the bill. The bill currently deals with "not to compete" agreements between former employees and employers.

"We are not asking the Senate to vote on right to work," Rush said. "We are asking the Senate to let the people of Oklahoma vote on right to work. A vote on the referendum, which will put right to work on the November ballot, is a vote of confidence in the people of Oklahoma and a vote of confidence in the democratic process."

A referendum proposal was recently defeated by a 7-to-5 vote in the Senate Business and Labor Committee.

Rush said seven people should not be allowed to suppress the voice of Oklahoma voters.

"Right to work is too important to be decided by seven senators," the executive said. "The Senate can show its confidence in the voters who elected them, by putting right to work on the November ballot. …

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