- Associated Press - Friday, January 9, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is voicing support for proposals barring private- and public-sector workers from being required to join unions as a condition for employment.

The Republican governor said Thursday that she’ll push for right-to-work legislation in the upcoming session and believed the change was needed for the state, the Albuquerque Journal reported (https://goo.gl/8xy5lo).

“It is fundamentally wrong to require membership (in a union) in order to get a job . or take money from the paychecks of our workers by force,” Martinez told a business audience in Albuquerque.

Three Republican lawmakers have pre-filed a bill that would cover both private- and public-sector workers. Another Republican legislator has a proposal that would affect only private-sector employees.

Supporters say the legislation would spur economic growth and attract businesses to the state. Opponents say it’s an attack on unions and won’t create jobs or save the state any money.

The proposals come as the Republicans will take control of the New Mexico House for the first time in 60 years. Democrats still control the New Mexico Senate, and some have vowed to strongly oppose such measures.

Sen. George Munoz, D-Gallup, who attended Thursday’s luncheon, took issue with the governor’s characterization of the state’s labor laws. “Nobody can force anybody to join a union in America,” Munoz said.

Carter Bundy, political and legislative director for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 18 in New Mexico, said union members will make their presence known during the upcoming session to let lawmakers know they are against the proposals.

Bundy called the proposals attempts by “out-of-state corporate billionaires” to try to control the state.

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