Right-to-Work legislation failed earlier this month in Sussex County and earlier this week in the General Assembly, but it is moving forward in Seaford.
The Seaford City Council voted unanimously in December to enact a Right-to-Work ordinance - making union membership a condition of employment or requiring workers to pay union dues.
Mayor David Genshaw says although Right-to-Work has been put in place elsewhere across the country, it is new to Delaware and Seaford.
“It was something that we looked at as far as trying to make Seaford the most attractive place to grow business, which look, there’s no question Seaford has lost jobs; good-paying, middle-class jobs. And as an elected person, it is something we get approached with as to what are you doing to improve job conditions here in our town,” said Genshaw.
Genshaw says right-to-work is just one tool to draw businesses. He notes that he and the City Council are also trying to draw new businesses through infrastructure layouts, improved customer service and not raising taxes and fees.
The Sussex County Council abandoned its push for a right-to-work ordinance earlier this month, citing the cost of possible litigation over whether the county had the authority to enact it.
Mayor Genshaw told Delaware Public Media he had multiple lawyers take a look at Seaford’s charter and the State charter and they said Seaford “definitely had a pathway to enact Right-to-Work.”
“I would love for our elected officials and the County and the State not to come against Seaford, the people of Seaford. I would hope they won’t do that. We’re trying to do what we believe is right for our community and the people of our community and we feel we have a right to do this; we feel we have a pathway to do this...a legal pathway," Genshaw said.