• Elizabeth Marum

GOP representatives voted against constituents

March 18, 2021 Belgrade News

Letter to the Editor: GOP representatives voted against constituents


Reps. Jed and Caleb Hinkle, Jane Gillette and Jennifer Carlson voted against the majority of their constituents recently when they tried to force Montana into becoming a Right-to-Work (For Less) state. It was soundly rejected by workers — us. Farmers, teachers, food servers, customers service reps, cashiers, healthcare providers, etc., who end the day with a drive home for a little rest and refreshment to wake up and do it again the next day and the next and the next. It was lobbyists for the ultra wealthy who support bills like this. Anti-union bills hurt the state more than the unions by lowering the wage scales for everyone – members and non-members.

Montana is 12th from the bottom in wage nationally and more of us work two or more jobs than nearly any other state in the union.

Do we just love to work? No! We want to feed our kids, keep a warm and safe home, have some money to go to the doctor, and maybe afford a college education. But all of that is a challenge when our work is undervalued.

For the first time in my 43 years of working, I am a union member. I don’t have to pay dues (which aren’t much). And as a state worker, I now make a lot less than any of the other jobs I’ve had in the last 25 years.

What are these Gallatin Republicans thinking? If they don’t know what our lives are like, they need to go find out.

Elizabeth Marum, Belgrade