AP political writer Bob Lewis covers Del. Chris Saxman's constitutional resolution
to protect Virginia's right-to-work status:
Despite decades of state law banning compulsory union membership, Republicans took an important step Tuesday toward welding the anti-labor provisions into the state Constitution. The House voted 56-43 to advance Del. Chris Saxman's resolution to the Senate, the first in a 21-month series of hurdles the measure must clear to become part of Virginia's 233-year-old Bill of Rights.
Saxman, a Republican and owner of a bottled water company in Staunton, said the bill arose from federal union card-check legislation. That bill, now before Congress, would let workers form a union by signing a card of petition instead of holding secret ballot elections. Labor leaders say the card-signing method makes it easier to get enough votes to form a union.
Card check removes the secret ballot process for employees in a union vote:
... Del. Harry R. Purkey, R-Virginia Beach, said it's necessary to put the right-to-work law in the state Constitution because of the changed political environment, with President Barack Obama's new pro-labor administration and a strengthened Democratic majority in Congress. "We're seeing card check marching its way down the aisle to what appears to be a vote at the national level. We're seeing the possibility of doing away with the secret ballot," Purkey said.
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