The Republican-led state legislature in Wisconsin is about to send a bill to the governor’s desk that makes Wisconsin the 25th right-to-work state. What this means is that in the private sector in Wisconsin, if a business is unionized, the union cannot force those who don’t join the union to pay dues. This effort comes on the heels of Walker’s successful fight to stop collective bargaining for most public employee unions.
The Left threw everything they had at Scott Walker in this last fight, and now they are resigned to the fact that Wisconsin will become a right-to-work state as well. The upside to the hard-won battle for Walker over the last few years is that the conflict drew national attention and put him on the national stage.
In a shrewd move, Walker did not push the legislature to get the bill to his desk. He left the hard work this time to the state Republican leaders to marshall the resources and the support to get the bill passed. This allowed Walker to back away from the fight at a time he would rather focus on preparing the national arena for a highly likely presidential run.
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The National Review wrote last month:
Some conservatives are disappointed by Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s apparent reluctance to push for right-to-work legislation in his new term. Today the Wall Street Journal joins the chorus, calling it “unfortunate that he’s ducking a chance to make Wisconsin the country’s 25th right-to-work state.” But Walker has made it clear that such legislation is not a priority and that he wants to focus instead on education reform and on cutting Wisconsin’s woefully bloated budget. Walker is right, and it demonstrates yet again that he’s got the right formula for conservative reforms.
At any rate, Walker signing this bill could likely be a serious near-death blow to organized labor in Wisconsin. By the public sector unions’ own admission, membership (and therefore political influence) is down by over half since the previous bills that outlawed collective bargaining for teachers and the like were made law.
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