Wisconsin Republicans claim they have no interest in following Michigan’s lead by pursuing passage of union-busting “right-to-work” legislation: it appears they have decided table their own version of the same bill. Though famously anti-union Governor Scott Walker (R) won’t say whether or not he’d support a Michigan style bill, incoming State Assembly speaker Robin Vos has said no such legislation will be brought up for consideration in the forthcoming term:
However, a spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker-elect Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said Assembly Republicans don’t have plans to restrict private-sector unions in Wisconsin when the Legislature reconvenes Jan. 7.
“Right-to-work legislation is not something that is being pursued this session in the Assembly,” Vos spokeswoman Kit Beyer said. “That folder has been put away.”
It’s important not to give Walker and co. too much credit: Walker’s refusal to comment on right-to-work is a step backwards from his previous pledge to “do everything in my power to make sure [right to work] isn’t there.” Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) similarly opposed right-to-work before ramrodding it through the current lame duck session.
Right-to-work legislation prohibits unions from making dues mandatory for all employees, crippling union fundraising and organizing bases. These laws have, in states they’ve been implemented, cost union and non-union workers an average of $1,500 per year in salary. They also hit the middle class particularly hard and don’t appear to improve employment prospects.