Oklahoma Panel Votes to Repeal Collective Bargaining

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A state House committee has narrowly approved legislation that would repeal collective bargaining rights for municipal employees in Oklahoma's 13 largest cities.

The House General Government Committee voted 9-7 Wednesday to repeal the Municipal Employees Collective Bargaining Act. The measure was passed by lawmakers in 2004 and requires cities with populations of more than 35,000 to collectively bargain with their workers.

The community services director for Midwest City, Vaughn Sullivan, says the law has divided his city's workforce and some workers don't want to be bound by collective bargaining agreements.

But a union leader, William Bryles of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, says collective bargaining helps municipal workers improve working conditions. Bryles says the bill is anti-union.

The measure now goes to the full House.