RIGHT To Work debate held

Wednesday, September 5th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Getting to the bottom of right to work. By this time three weeks from now, the right to work vote will be history. Are you ready to make a decision? If not, The News on Six's Paul Serrell has some facts that may help you.

He went to a Right to Work debate at Tulsa Community College Tuesday evening. And for those you still trying to figure this whole thing out think about this. Do you believe Right to Work will bring new businesses to Oklahoma, or not. Announcer: "State Question 695." You've seen the ads, but do you have the answers you need to make an informed choice on Right to Work?

The Southeast Tulsa Jaycees sponsored a debate to try to help. Speaking for Right to Work, Labor Commissioner Brenda Reneau Wynn and against it University of Tulsa Labor Law Professor Doctor James Thomas. So just what is Right to Work? It's a proposal that says people can work at a company where a union is present without having to join the union. Commissioner Wynn made one of the supporters’ key arguments that many businesses looking to re-locate won't even consider Oklahoma unless voters pass Right to Work. "A non right to work state is automatically as anti-business and is not listed in re-location efforts. A Right to Work state is listed as business friendly." But would the companies who might come for Right to Work pay higher salaries to employees? Yes, says Wynn as businesses fight to lure good workers to their company. But Thomas says no. He says Right to Work would weaken unions, leaving employees vulnerable to having their wages and benefits reduced. "Right to Work will dull the senses of labor. Right to Work will not have the ability the go in and negotiate and work out an agreement with employers if there's Right to Work. They've got to have the freedom that Right to Work takes away from them.”

One way to make up your mind is to consider the messengers of Right to Work. Leaders of those in favor tend to be Republican and possibly associated with people who own or run businesses. Opponents are more likely to be Democrats and be affiliated with labor unions or union members.

The vote takes place September 25th.