New Mexico Federation of Labor Responds to Planned Sandoval County Commission Vote on ‘Right to Work’ Ordinance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        
January 18, 2018
Contact: Shane Youtz
505-980-1590                                                                            

Albuquerque – New Mexico Federation of Labor President Jon Hendry and Secretary-Treasurer Ashley Long released the following statement:

“The Sandoval County Commission appears poised to adopt an ordinance today which New Mexico’s Attorney General determined to be illegal under both New Mexico and Federal law, writing:

‘… we conclude that the proposed (Sandoval County) ordinance, if adopted, would involve the exercise of powers beyond the scope of those granted by the legislature and … would create serious concerns about uniformity in the law … would likely be  preempted by the National Labor Relations Act, and if challenged in court, would likely be found invalid and unenforceable on these multiple, identified grounds.’

“The New Mexico Federation of Labor is grateful that both Senator Benny Shendo and Attorney General Hector Balderas have evaluated the proposed ordinance in the interest of the citizens in Sandoval County.  Unfortunately, the proposed ordinance wouldn’t be just an expensive legal wild goose chase; ‘the result would be a crazy quilt of regulations’ and Sandoval County businesses, ‘would often be left in a state of considerable uncertainty,’ according to Attorney General Balderas.

“The harm to businesses and citizens doesn’t stop here.  Because the proposed Ordinance, ‘requires the Sheriff to investigate ‘complaints of violation or threatened violations’ of the Ordinance …’ these sections mean the RTW Proposed Ordinance could divert law enforcement and prosecutorial resources away from other important matters to the enforcement of provisions that are pre-empted and therefore unenforceable under federal law.

“What would motivate a county commission to pursue such an expensive and harmful policy? In a word, politics, partisan politics.  Brent Yessin, a Florida lawyer with a colorful history, hired by the Koch-funded group Americans for Prosperity, and working with the Commission to litigate this issue, uses the support of national right wing political engines like the American Legislative Exchange Council to stir up this trouble.  The net result is mayhem, dissension, and litigation.

“The New Mexico Federation of Labor, a group composed of thousands of your hardworking neighbors – plumbers, electricians, nurses, and others, asks you to call your commissioner now, this afternoon.  Tell them we don’t need this in our community – we don’t need a fight started by people from Florida whose national political agenda hurts workers and families here in New Mexico.”

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