The Republican majority in the Legislature has moved to keep the state from requiring hundreds of new employees of some agencies to pay union dues and fees to get a job. Governor Bob Holden had issued an executive order giving more union rights to employees in several state agencies. Ten agencies have voted to unionize. The Office of Administration has put forth a rule saying new workers must agree to join the union or pay service fees to the union if they want to be considered for the job. Senator John Russell has led the senate fight to overturn that rule.Democrats in the Senate say it’s not unusual for employers to put conditions-of-employment in place – requiring an employee to have a driver’s license, for example, or insurance. They say the service-fee requirement falls into that category. Republicans such as Russell say it’s not a condition of employment, it’s union coercion. They’vevoted to block the service fee rule. Governor Holden is expected to veto their effort and Republicans are unlkely to have enough votes to override that veto. That will leave things in the lap of Secretary of State Matt Blunt, who has refused to publish the proposed rule in the state register. He questions its legality. Blunt also is a Republican. He wants to replace Holden as Governor.
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