Yesterday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker made Wisconsin America’s 25th right to work state. Gov. Walker has clashed with big labor repeatedly throughout his term. As the reader may recall, Gov. Walker effectively destroyed collective bargaining for public-sector employees a little less than four years ago.
The right to work legislation, which moved through Wisconsin’s Republican-dominated Assembly and Senate in less than two weeks, was signed by Gov. Walker at an invitation-only ceremony in Milwaukee. The effect of the legislation, of course, is to prohibit unions from requiring a non-member working in a union shop to pay union dues.
Opponents of the measure ripped the law in the press:
“By signing Right to Work into law, Gov. Walker continues his crusade on the hard-working, middle-class families of Wisconsin,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, president of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO in a prepared statement.
But its supporters, obviously, sang a different tune:
“Every worker deserves freedom of choice when it comes to union membership and dues payment, and if states like Michigan and Wisconsin can pass Right to Work then Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and Ohio can too,” [National Right to Work Committee President Mark ] Mix said in a statement.
The new law takes effect immediately. As of now, it is unclear whether its opponents will challenge the law in court.