Three years ago, Wisconsin public sector workers were stripped of their rights to bargain collectively in the state.
Now that controversial Governor Scott Walker has been elected for a second term, our political foes will stop at nothing to destroy workers by pushing Right to Work legislation in the state.
Municipalities should keep their promises to workers. For years, fire fighters and other public workers have worked and negotiated for safer working conditions, wages and benefits.
Right to Work strikes a terrible blow to good faith efforts. Right to Work burdens fire fighters to “give, give, and to continue give” away what is important to them -- to provide excellent protection to their communities and security for their families.
Passing Right to Work legislation doesn’t make communities safer or better --- in fact, it makes them weaker. Those who favor Right to Work support big businesses and their bottom line.
We’ve said over and over to our members that Right to Work laws really mean the Right to Work for less.
The average worker in states with Right to Work laws make less compared to workers in other states. In addition, it’s untrue that Right to Work legislation will automatically result in companies hiring more workers – there has to be a demand.
Workers in states with Right to Work make $1, 540 a year less, when all other factors are removed than workers in other states. The median weekly earning of the nation’s 107.9 million full-time wage and salary workers was $790 in the third quarter of 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, people with Right to Work laws are more likely to be uninsured (16.8 percent, compared with 13.1 percent overall).
More evidence that Right to Work is truly awful for workers are data that find median household income in states with these laws is $6, 437 less than in other states ($46,402 vs. $52,839).
What’s more incredulous, in some states that are pushing to pass Right to Work laws (like Missouri), our opponents have publicly admitted that Right to Work would LOWER the wages of workers.
In Wisconsin, Representative Chris Kapenga of Delafield says he is convinced that Right to Work legislation is right for Wisconsin and will introduce it in the next legislative session.
Governor Walker says Right to Work is not a priority for him. Let’s hope he means what he says, but his comments are eerily similar to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s, who described the issue as too divisive, but ended up signing Right to Work into law two years ago, making it the 24th state to pass legislation. The median household income in Wisconsin, according to the Census Bureau, from 2009 to 2013 was $52,413; compared to $53,046 nationwide.
Right to Work is a step backwards for Wisconsin. The state needs to focus on job growth.
Stay vigilant, be prepared to organize and stand against Right to Work legislation in your states.
The Right to Work movement is strong and threatens to overtake workers.