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Right-to-work, 'fair share' bills surface in Maine

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- A pair of labor bills in Maine that have been rejected in past legislative sessions, so-called right-to-work and fair share, are being introduced again this session.

Republican Rep. Lawrence Lockman of Amherst acknowledges that his bills will face an uphill battle in a Legislature, with Democratic majorities in both chambers. But he also notes that other states — notably Indiana and Michigan — last year passed right-to-work laws.

In Maine, Lockman's bill would allow workers at unionized private businesses to opt not to join or financially support a union as a condition of employment. Lockman says it's good for jobs and good for business.

The second bill takes away a requirement that state employees pay fees to the Maine State Employees Association whether they join the union or not.