By Steve Wilson | Mississippi Watchdog
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant this week signed three anti-union bills into law.
RIGHT TO WORK: Gov. Phil Bryant signed three anti-union bills into law Wednesday.
- Senate Bill 2473 prohibits the coercion of a business by an individual or a group into staying neutral in a union drive. It also mandates a secret ballot for unionization elections.
- Senate Bill 2653 allows picketing as long as it’s non-violent and doesn’t block entrances. The new law also makes it easier for companies to get a court order to stop picketing.
- Senate Bill 2797 says that if a state or local government entity wants to use a unionized workforce on a project, it has to get the permission of the Legislature.
“Mississippi has some of the lowest union participation in the country, and these bills send a message that we will not tolerate efforts like intimidation,” Bryant said in a news release. “I believe that Mississippi’s right-to-work status is a competitive benefit for the state, and I intend to keep it that way.”
Unions don’t have a lot of traction in Mississippi, a right-to-work state. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, in a workforce of slightly more than 1 million only 38,000 are members of unions. That represents 3.7 percent of the state’s workforce. The average in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is 11.3 percent. New York had the highest percentage of union representation — 24.4 percent — while North Carolina had the lowest — 3 percent.