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Martin Says Bargaining Repeal Not Union Busting (Feb 24, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The author of legislation that would repeal collective bargaining rights for municipal workers in Oklahoma's 13 largest cities says it is designed to give cities more control over their workforce and budgets, not to bust unions.

Republican Rep. Steve Martin of Bartlesville said Thursday he does not believe the state should force cities with populations in excess of 35,000 to collectively bargain with their non-uniformed employees. Martin says the process is costly and personnel rules make it hard to discipline or dismiss troublemakers.

The bill was approved Wednesday by a state House committee. Martin says he has been thinking about filing it for many months and that it is merely a coincidence it was approved as other states, including Wisconsin, are in political turmoil over legislation challenging union rights.

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