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Statement by Senator Lewis Long,
Chairman of the Senate Business and Labor Committee
"I think the right to work supporters failed to make a compelling case that this kind of change would really help Oklahoma's economic development efforts. If anything, the testimony and presentations reinforced the belief that right to work is just a bumper sticker slogan that is more of a political football than it is a legitimate economic development tool."
"One of the things that may have influenced members was a recent article in the Daily Oklahoman. The graphs that accompanied that report showed that the highest per capita incomes are in non-right to work states. They also indicated that right to work was a pretty low priority for business and industry that are looking to expand or relocate. A recent survey by Southwestern Bell showed the same thing - that right to work isn't a major issue when it comes to recruiting new jobs."
"We've been able to do great things in Oklahoma by getting business and labor to cooperate. All this issue does is divide them and make it less likely that those cooperative ventures will bring any benefits to Oklahoma."
"Right to work got a fair and open hearing in the Legislature today and failed to receive a majority vote of support. If Governor Keating and other supporters are truly interested in this issue, I would encourage them to launch an initiative petition drive. If they don't go the petition route, it will be confirmation that right to work is just a political football to them, not a legitimate issue."