Scott Walker made good on his promise to bust Wisconsin unions once and for all when he signed right-to-work legislation into law on Monday. This was not too long after state conservatives vowed that they would fast-track this legislation, according to Talking Points Memo.
So basically, he’s cemented his stranglehold on the unions, and given Wisconsin workers the right to work…for less. Right-to-work laws are supposed to make it so people aren’t forced to join a union or pay union fees if they benefit from the unions’ work. Their consequences, however, are far-reaching, and not good for any state’s economy.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says that the right-to-work legislation is an overhaul of more than 50 years of state labor law in Wisconsin. They have become the 25th state to enact such laws, and Walker sees this as a bid to attract new business to the state.
Wisconsin was 11th in job creation when Walker took over as governor in 2011. By early 2013, they’d fallen to 44th. 44th out of 50. At the time, Walker blamed workers, liberals and Democrats for the state’s job creation crash, saying, according to Addicting Info:
The first year we had a lot of protests in the state. We had two years’, almost, worth of recalls. A lot of employers here I think can relate to the fact (that) uncertainty is one of the biggest challenges for employers big or small or anywhere in between. There was a lot of uncertainty. The good news is that’s passed.
Ever since then, he’s been on a crusade to vilify unions and unionized workers, focusing heavily on unionized public sector workers, as the bane of Wisconsin’s existence. He went so far as to compare unions to ISIS, drawing the ire of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO.
Talking Points Memo is saying that Walker may have signed the right-to-work legislation against his better judgment, because it’s a change in his position that he would not interfere in private-sector unions. However, there’s a rift between him and the Republican-controlled legislature, which has been trying to pass right-to-work legislation for some time. According to TPM, when they said they’d fast-track it, he surrendered and said he’d sign it.
Was it really a surrender, though, or could that have been the plan all along? Or is it something else? Republicans love right-to-work laws, because they’re big-business friendly. As TPM notes, though, if he’s serious about running for president, he needs to appear to be in control of the legislature. Unfortunately, his view of the path to the presidency means screwing over the average Wisconsin resident.