- Wisconsin governor Scott Walker told CBS News how he gave Vice Pres. Mike Pence tips on creating a national right-to-work agenda. Walker gave unions, pro-labor proponents and public employees a blow by advocating for and ultimately enacting a right-to-work law in his state.
- Right-to work laws prohibit unions and employers from requiring workers to pay union dues, whether they belong to a union. Walker’s 2011 law bars collective bargaining over pay increases and working conditions, and forces union members to pay more for pensions and healthcare coverage.
- CBS says that last week Republicans in Congress introduced a national right-to-work bill that would allow millions of workers to forego union membership.
Curiously, Republican lawmakers at both the state and federal levels are pushing hard for right-to-work legislation while union membership overall is down and continues to decrease. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that union membership decreased by 240,000 between 2015 and 2016.
Labor unions generally draw fewer members these days, and nonunion members might prefer not having to pay union dues. But taking away their right to negotiate pay increases and improved working conditions might generate push back or spark a resurgence in union membership.
Walker’s actions, which were viewed as a means of crippling unions, set off protests and calls for his impeachment.
With Republican governors and lawmakers dominating the political landscape, expect more right-to-work states to emerge.