Miss. Senate gives final approval to 3 anti-union bills

The Mississippi legislature is taking steps to prevent union take-over of industry within the state by sending 3 bills to Gov. Phil Bryant.  In what is likely a response to the United Auto Workers’ (UAW) failed multi-year attempt to unionize a Tennessee automobile plant in February, the bills will weaken organized labor influence in the state.

The AP’s Jeff Amy, via the Daily Journal, submitted the following report:

JACKSON – Bills that aim to restrict union organizing and picketing practices in Mississippi, as well as restrict governments’ abilities to pressure employers to use unionized workers, are on their way to Gov. Phil Bryant.

The Senate gave final passage Wednesday to the three bills.

Senate Bill 2473 would make it illegal to coerce a business into neutrality in a union drive or to allow workers to choose union representation by signing cards instead of by secret ballot.

Senate Bill 2653 tries to restrict picketing.

Senate Bill 2797 says the Legislature would have to pass a law to allow any state or local government to make an agreement to use unionized workers on a project. Such a project labor agreement was used to build the Toyota Motor Corp. plant in Blue Springs.

The UAW has tried unsuccessfully to unionize anywhere in the south.  UAW plans attempts to unionize a Nissan plant in Canton, Miss. and a Mercedes plant in Vance, Ala.  The legislation passed by the Mississippi Senate will make such efforts more difficult since the UAW will not have the open access that they enjoyed in Tennessee.

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Legislature sends Governor medicinal marijuana bill

Miss. House voted 112-6 to pass House Bill 1231 earlier this week.  Sen. Deborah Dawkins (D-Pass Christian) introduced medical marijuana bills in previous sessions.  Sen. Josh Harkins (R-Flowood) introduced the current bill to amend the Controlled Substances law.  A family in his district wants access to medical marijuana to reduce the seriousness of their epileptic child’s seizures.

The Senate passed a similar bill March 6th and, during the writing of this post, voted to push the House Bill to Gov. Bryant:

A pharmacist is all but required to understand the language of the bill but according to reports medicinal marijuana oil was added to the list of Schedule I Hallucinogenic Substances.  The oil is believed to help with pain and sleep problems and prevent seizures but without the high.

The drug would be controlled by Miss. licensed physicians and could only be dispensed by the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

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