Right to Work Legislation
Posted: February 27, 2015
So much for Governor Scott Walker not wanting "Right to Work" legislation to become a distraction while he promotes his newest biennial budget proposal. Governor Walker was concerned when asked about "Right to Work" laws two months ago and stated that he thought any discussions about the controversial law would be a "distraction". Now Walker says he will sign a right to work bill.
And, as we witnessed this week in Madison, the State Senate's labor committee has fast-tracked right-to-work legislation and sent the bill to the full senate for a vote. On Tuesday, dozens of protesters shouted as the senate labor committee cut short a public hearing on the right to work bill. Next week, the state assembly is expected to push through the bill.
Under right to work legislation, unions are not allowed to reach labor deals with businesses that require private sector workers to pay union dues. Wisconsin would be the 25th state in the country to be a right to work state.
When I heard Republican Assemblyman Warren Petryk interviewed on WAYY-AM 790 this week, I laughed out loud when I heard Petryk claim that right to work laws are not union-busting measures. Anybody who thinks otherwise clearly has their head in the sand.
However, despite my dislike for government telling anyone what they can or cannot do in private business, I am torn about whether right to work laws will have a negative effect on workers' wages or become another reason for a company to relocate and/or expand to Wisconsin.
Even though existing labor contracts would remain in force despite passage of a right to work measure, there is the presumption that those labor contracts would be under added scrutiny once Wisconsin becomes a right to work state.
There is not enough factual data for me to decide whether right to work legislation is good for Wisconsin. But it's clear that Governor Walker is getting the "distraction" that just a few weeks ago he was so desperate to avoid.
UPDATE: Enough people must have complained to the Eau Claire postmaster about next-day mail being delayed for up to three or four days. I was informed by one of the managers at the bulk mail processing facility on Hogarth Street that next-day delivery is occurring with more frequency. So, for at least the time being, more subscribers should be receiving The Bottom Line on Friday, Saturday, or Monday at the latest. By the way, for those subscribers who are still attempting to log onto The Bottom Line web site to read their weekly newsletter every Friday, please send us your e-mail address (user name) and zip code (password) to: email@example.com