With the stroke of a pen, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is about to achieve his ultimate dream: Screwing the workers of his state once and for all.
Early Friday morning, the Republican-controlled state assembly passed a bill which will make Wisconsin a right-to-work state. The final vote on the anti-union legislation was 62-35, and the bill will now head to Walker, who has said in the past he would sign it. When he does, Wisconsin will become the 25th right-to-work state in the country.
Phil Neuenfeldt, president of the state AFL-CIO called the bill “reckless” and added:
“The GOP is more concerned with advancing the rights of out-of-state special interests who write their campaign checks than protecting the rights and protecting the wages of hard-working Wisconsinites.”
Under federal labor law, a union that wins an election within a workplace has to represent all the workers in the workplace, including those who may have voted against the union. Since representation costs money, unions want contracts that require all the workers in the unit to provide financial support for the union. Right-to-work legislation prohibits those requirements, meaning an employee cannot be compelled to pay union dues.
As recently as last year, Walker, when asked about right-to-work legislation, had called the matter a “distraction.” But that was before he decided to run for President and burnish his credentials with the right wing of his party, including mega-donors such as the Koch brothers.
Walker, in his typically cryptic fashion, attempted to defend the right-to-work measure by claiming it would boost job creation in Wisconsin:
“If you’re a company that’s here and you’re looking to grow, or if you’re talking to one of your colleagues in the industry and trying to get someone to come here, we now have given one more big thing on that checklist to say that Wisconsin is open for business.”
And if Scott Walker gets a chance to do for America what he’s doing for Wisconsin, we can expect a nation of minimum-wage workers with no rights in the workplace. No doubt that sounds like utopia to Walker.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.