Editorial — Ordinance needs to be discussed thoroughly

Date Published: 
Oct. 27, 2017

Sussex County Councilman Rob Arlett is pushing an ordinance related to right-to-work legislation for the county, and it could be put in front of council at its Oct. 31 meeting.

The ordinance would intend to “provide that no employee covered by the National Labor Relations Act be required to join or pay dues to a union, or refrain from joining a union, as a condition of employment.”

Representatives from both sides of the discussion made arguments in the Oct. 24 councty council meeting, with some citing a need for an economic stimulus in the county as reason for pursuing it, and those opposed stating that it would not create jobs, but rather strip away the ability of employees to negotiate with employers over working conditions.

It spurred heated responses from both sides, as big ideas often do. County Solicitor J. Everett Moore, when prompted for his legal opinion, said that he does not believe the County has the ability to pass such an ordinance, and the litigation that would result from the ordinance being passed would be extremely expensive.

After some more back-and-forth over the legitimacy of the proposed ordinance itself, Council President Michael Vincent suggested it be brought back to next week’s meeting, in a proper format, for further discussion.

This is critically important to the future of Sussex County, and we encourage Sussex County Council to request input from every resource possible before leaping into a decision that could impact the entire economic landscape of this county for generations.