Right to Work is Not about Rights; it is Wrong for Wisconsin

Madison Teachers, Inc. Newsletter (PDF), via a kind Jeanie Kamholtz email:

Much like they did in enacting Act 10 a few years ago, Republican legislators once again adjourned the Committee hearing before all could be heard, and then voted to send the Right to Work Bill to the full Senate recommending that they adopt it. The Senate adopted it with all democrats and one republican (former Union member who values what the Union did for him) voting NO! The action by the Republican majority was an embarrassment to democracy. Sen. Hanson (Green Bay) said “Right to Work will destroy the middle class. That it has caused a reduction of wages and a loss of benefits in other states.”

The Bill was pushed through the Senate by Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (Juneau). The Bill is nearly identical to the model recommended by conservative policy developer American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Fitzgerald, in speaking before the Committee hearing, said his proposal would “protect every worker” from being forced to join a union. The National Labor Relations Act already does that, and has for about 75 years. In some settings like MMSD, those who decide not to join the union at their workplace pay a representation fee, because they receive the wage increases, the fringe benefits, and the other rights which the union negotiates – and the union is obligated to represent them in things like discipline and dismissal. Fitzgerald’s claim of “forced unionism” is simply NOT TRUE.
It is interesting that a coalition of over 400 employers oppose the Bill, stating that they hire skilled workers through the union’s, apprenticeship program that they depend on and works well with the unions.

Right to Work provides no rights to working people. It will result in taking the guarantees of just cause and due process away from workers. At the peril of workers and their families, it will reduce income to line the pockets of corporate executives.