My Opinion on Wyoming’s “Right to Work” law

by Juliet Daniels

Recently I was asked by IBEW Local 415 my opinion on Wyoming’s “Right to Work” law. Below is my response to them.

Prior to running for office in this election I had not critically thought about Wyoming’s “Right-to-Work” law and its effect on employees. Since being asked my opinion on this law I have attempted to do some research in order to best formulate an opinion and provide an answer to this question. As you can imagine, my research generated more questions for me than it did definitive opinions but I will do my best to share what I now believe so that you will have a better sense of how I would conduct myself as a legislator.

Photo by Marvin Nauman - Nov 09, 2005

Photo by Marvin Nauman – Nov 09, 2005

I’ll start with what I believe. I believe that unions provide a valuable service to employees both in terms of negotiating work conditions and compensation. This function of unions has been tremendously valuable in our history of ensuring that workplaces are safer and employees are fairly compensated. Unions also provide a very valuable service of representing employees during disputes. Without unions, an employee is at a disadvantage because they most likely cannot afford the risk of losing their job and probably do not have the resources to fight for their rights. Unions help to equalize the balance of power. I also have an issue with freeloaders benefiting from unions while not paying dues because they know that everyone else will pay the dues and they can get away with it. To me this is inherently wrong and unfair to the dues paying members and compromises the ability of unions to continue to exist and provide representation to workers.

The question of whether Wyoming’s “Right-to-Work” law benefits the workforce is a bit more complex. From what I have been able to determine with my limited research, this law both hurts and potentially helps the workforce in Wyoming, but without more research I could not definitively say which it does more of. It hurts the workforce in that it makes it more difficult for employees to unionize and for unions to remain viable organizations. It potentially benefits the workforce if by having this law it creates a more business friendly climate that leads to job creation for the workforce. It also benefits the subset of the workforce that values their freedom to not join a union over the benefits that the union provides.

Given what I have learned I am open to the idea of repealing Wyoming’s “Right-to-Work” law. This means I would need to do a lot more research to better understand the benefits to the workforce and the impact to the business community and determine if the benefits of repealing the law would outweigh the disadvantages. I would also need to talk with my constituents to share what I had learned and better understand their desires and concerns in regards to repealing this law. My research would involve talking to labor groups, such as IBEW, industry groups, looking at research by independent groups such as universities, and consulting with economists.

Although I have written a long winded response and in the end did not give a definitive answer, I am extremely open to learning more about the impact of Wyoming’s “Right-to-Work” law on the workforce and why it should be repealed and/or amended.

Keep Public Lands in Public Hands

by Juliet Daniels

2012-08-25-10-18-32I believe our national public lands should remain in federal hands and I am prepared to fight legislation that would change that. Our national lands are a part of our national heritage and need to be shared by all. Not only do the benefits of our national lands need to be shared by all, but the responsibility for maintaining and improving them also needs to be shared by all. I love our State parks but it is not wise from either a management or financial point of view to try to turn all of the federal land into state parks. If federal lands were transferred to the state I believe access for the citizens of Wyoming to much of it would be lost.

A Little Bit About Me

by Juliet Daniels

When researching 2015-07-11-20-02-21candidates it is hard to get to know who they really are. I hope this blog post helps you to get to know me a little better.

Prior to moving to Cheyenne in 2014, my husband and I were living and working in Sheridan. I was working for an agricultural company designing and building their website and their online data collection systems. My husband was a gas compressor mechanic for a midstream oil and gas company. We decided to move to Cheyenne so my husband could return to school and pursue his Bachelor of Science in Engineering. We were lucky to find a house with some property west of Cheyenne in the Happy Valley subdivision and as the fairy tales always say “lived happily ever after.”

2015-10-04-10-09-48We have really enjoyed living out in the Happy Valley. Our neighbors are wonderful and have become true friends. We have also really enjoyed our close proximity to Curt Gowdy State Park and the Vedauwoo area. It is so nice that we are only 10 to 20 miles from being able to engage in some of our favorite outdoor activities – horseback riding, hiking, backpacking, hunting, fishing, boating, and snowshoeing!

For the last nine years I have had the pleasure of working for University of Wyoming Extension as a community development educator. I cover a 5 county area that includes Carbon, Albany, Laramie, Goshen, and Platte counties. The thing I love the most about my job is that I work with people (both colleagues and clientele) who are incredibly passionate about helping people and making a positive difference in their communities. The best part of teaching adults is that moment when you have shared something that someone in the class can really use and their excitement and enthusiasm about putting it into practice. Through my work I have made incredible friends from around Wyoming and have learned so much.

Let me know in the comments or through the contact me form what more you would like to know about me.

I voted for myself… it was surreal.

Last week I voted early in our Primary and I voted for myself. Until a few years ago the thought of running for office had never crossed my mind. And until a few months ago I had never really considered that I would be selecting myself at the ballot box. The journey has really begun!

If you haven’t voted yet (or even registered) be sure and get to your voting center tomorrow (8/16/16) and vote. If you aren’t registered you can register when you arrive. If you want to switch party affiliation to Democrat you can vote for me twice – once at the primary and then again at the general election.

For Laramie County you can find your voting center at https://maps.laramiecounty.com/votecenters/. For general information on voting such as how to register or vote with an absentee ballot as well as where to vote in the rest of Wyoming you can go to the Secretary of State’s page at http://soswy.state.wy.us/Elections/Voting.aspx.