Protests Planned Against Right-to-Work Debate

Wisconsin Could Be 25th Right-to-Work State

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The streets of Madison are packed with Union Leaders fighting to stop Wisconsin from becoming the 25th right-to-work state.

But, supporters are holding out hope the legislation passes. 

Right now, under federal law if there is union representation in a work place, the union is required to represent everybody whether they are a member or not. 

Part of the union’s agreement states that even if you’re not part of the Union you have to pay some sort of cost to them for their services. 

This is called the fair share provision. 

Now, the proposed law would ban companies from requiring employees to join a union or pay union dues. 

Essentially, workers would be able to get the benefits but not have to cover any costs. 

Advocates say if this law passes, Wisconsin will be more competitive economically with weaker unions. 

When unions are weaker, wages generally are lower. 

The key question is whether or not stronger unions are good or bad for the worker’s and state’s economy.

“Basically the chief impact of a right-to-work law is it reduces the effectiveness of unions by depriving them of the resources they need to represent the people that they by law have to represent,” said UWS History Professor,  Joel Sipress. 

Some union leaders call it a direct attack against organized labor. 

“We get too many members drop out, then the core functions that we serve start getting impacted- safety initiatives, training initiative.  It’s just good for organized labor,” said Patrick Kelly, Operating Engineers Local 428. 

The bill goes to the senate floor Wednesday. 

If it passes, the assembly will hear it the following week. 

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says he will sign the bill if it passes. 

There will be a rally against the law in Superior, Thursday night.

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