The Northwest Labor Press broke a big story yesterday afternoon. Senator Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro) - who is running for Labor Commissioner - was speaking to right-wing radio mouthbreather Lars Larson on the air.
Larson asked him if he'd push for Oregon to become a "right-to-work" state. Starr's response?
Yes. The pure answer and clear answer is ‘yes,’ Lars, I would. I’m pro-choice in that regard. Let’s let folks choose who they want to associate with, and again, I think a policy like that would create a lot more economic opportunity in our state and a lot more jobs, make Oregon a much more attractive place to do business.
As John Mohlis of the Building Trades Council told the Labor Press:
You can’t be for right-to-work and be pro-labor. ... Supporting right-to-work means you are anti-union.
Right-to-work, most common in the southern U.S., means that workers can benefit from the wages and benefits negotiated by a union without paying their share of the union's costs in obtaining those wages and benefits. (Note that workers are never required to join a union. But they can, in non-right-to-work states, be required to help pay for the services that the union provides them.)
Starr's been trying to win labor support in this race, telling the Building Trades two weeks ago:
We’ve had a good relationship over the last 10 years. We are friends. I’m not walking into enemy territory here today.
But not any more. Cue Mohlis, in the Labor Press:
It’s not in sync with what I thought his views were. ... It shows more urgency to re-elect Avakian. It’s certainly not in our best interest to have a labor commissioner who is anti-labor.
'Nuff said. Go support Brad Avakian here.