Another year is here and once again the union movement in Delaware is fighting off attacks from anti-union forces. Today it was Sussex County, where anti-union groups tried to pass right to work. Thankfully union members from different sectors came together to let the county officials know that we do not want right to work in our state. Thankfully they listened and voted right to work down. While we won this battle, we know that we will continue to face these attacks. Below I have included coverage from the vote, as well as a refresher on what right to work is.
Sussex County Council defeats right-to-work ordinance
Sussex County Council voted 4-1 to deny a proposed right-to-work ordinance.
At the Jan. 9 meeting, county attorney J. Everett Moore reiterated his stand that Sussex County Council does not have the right to enact an ordinance under the state's home-rule statute.
Councilman Rob Arlett, R-Ocean View, who introduced the ordinance, tried to get a vote on the ordinance deferred but did not get a second on his motion. Arlett was the only councilman to vote in favor of the ordinance.
Council agreed that the cost of defending potential legal action in state and federal courts would impact the county's budget and could lead to the county losing its insurance carrier in the future. The four councilmen also agreed with Moore's legal opinion.
Councilman I.G. Burton, R-Lewes, said he would prefer county officials focus on other economic development issues. "Litigation would occur that would be very expensive and time consuming," he said.
What is right to work?
Under the right-to-work law, employees in unionized workplaces cannot be forced to join a union or to pay for any part of the cost of union representation while still receiving the same benefits as union members who pay fees. Twenty-eight states have right-to-work laws in place.