Through our collective power and unity, we have the strength to make changes not just in our workplaces, but in our local and national politics too. Working with other labor partners in Montana, together we defeated the anti-union Right to Work bill, among other bad bills that would impede on the rights of workers across MT.
Read more in this excerpt from Montana AFL-CIO’s official legislative report:
The Montana Labor Movement, including SEIU Healthcare 1199NW nurses at Logan Health in Kalispell, united in our efforts to beat back anti-worker legislation while supporting and advancing policies that allow working Montanans and their families to get ahead. We are proud to say that we worked with Republicans and Democrats to defeat every anti-union bill before the midpoint of the session.
HB 448 Revise Laws Related to Right to Work
MT AFL-CIO Position: OPPOSE
This was the much-anticipated Right to Work bill of the session. Largely the same as the version from the 2021 session, this bill was an all-out assault on the rights of workers to organize and negotiate with their private sector employers. It also included further restrictions on the ability of public employees to organize, required employers to post signage in their workplaces about the rights of workers to not associate with a union, and infringed on the voluntary relationship of both private and public sector employees and their chosen union.
The bill saw only five proponents, one of whom was the legislator who carried this bill last session, and four of whom were from outside special interest groups. Workers flooded the Capitol for the hearing, packing the halls on the first floor. Over 80 business representatives, working Montanans, retirees, and their families got to the mic to speak against HB 448 and the disastrous impact it would have on working people in this state. The two largest private sector employers in the State – Northwestern Energy and Stillwater-Sibanye Mine – spoke out in opposition to the bill, along with other private sector business leaders. Following the hearing, hundreds of workers and their families gathered on the steps of the Capitol to rally and hear from legislators, union leaders, and workers about the longstanding partnership between business and unions that have defined Montana’s history.
The week following the bill hearing, the House Business and Labor Committee voted the bill down 12-7. As we neared the transmittal deadline, where general policy bills introduced in one chamber must be transmitted to the other chamber, there was an attempt made to “blast” this bill from the committee to the floor of the House. An overwhelming coalition stood against this attack, with only 28 Representatives voting to hear the bill on the floor and 71 legislators voting “no.”
This win shows workers using our political power in action!