Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald told a reporter on March 27 that he and legislative Republicans were interested in pursuing a law that would make the state a right-to-work (for less) state. Gov. Scott Walker has repeatedly stated that he is not interested in making Wisconsin a right-to-work state, despite the fact that he co-sponsored legislation that would've done exactly that when he was a state legislator in 1993.
Walker's protestations to the contrary don't hold much water in the wake of video last week that captured Walker saying his assault on collective bargaining was a first step. The fact that he previously sponsored right-to-work legislation and the fact that Fitzgerald and his brother Scott, who is the state's Senate majority leader, are strong proponents of right-to-work and are two of Walker's closest allies in the state is evidence of Walker's intent, as well. Anyone who believes that Walker isn't interested in making Wisconsin the latest right-to-work state isn't paying attention.
The reporter asks Fitzgerald whether he was surprised when Walker described his plans to attack public workers’ collective bargaining. “No, it wasn’t a shock to me …” responds Fitzgerald. “My caucus wanted to go further. I had people in my caucus that was, you know, were wondering if we were going to do Right to Work in this state. So to tell you the truth, the collective bargaining, to me, I thought was more of a middle ground if you can believe that.”
Fitzgerald says “a number of people thought” they would push right-to-work, just as Republicans were in Indiana (where it passed this winter) and Minnesota (where it stalled). “When I heard about the collective bargaining,” he says, “it didn’t surprise me at all.”
The falsely-named "right-to-work" laws are little more than an attack on the rights of working families:
A so-called right-to-work bill bans union contracts that require workers represented by unions to pay for the costs of that representation. By leaving unions stuck representing some workers for free, it saps them of resources to grow or defend themselves. By ending union membership as the default in union workplaces, it makes it easier for management to discriminate against union members.