Republican governor and presidential hopeful Scott Walker signed Wisconsin’s right-to-work legislation on Monday, making Wisconsin the 25th state to pass this sort of legislation.
Employees in right-to-work states are not forced to pay union dues.
“This legislation puts power back in the hands of Wisconsin workers, by allowing the freedom to choose whether they want to join a union and pay union dues,” Walker said in a press release. “This also gives Wisconsin one more tool to encourage job creators, like those here at Badger Meter, to continue investing and expanding in our state. Freedom to Work, along with our investments in worker training, and our work to lower the tax burden, will lead to more freedom and prosperity for all of Wisconsin.”
Wisconsin joins neighbors Iowa and Michigan, which both passed similar legislation in 2012.
Even some union members aren’t opposed to this rule change, according to The Daily Signal:
“This is something I’ve never understood, that people think right to work hurts unions,” Gary Casteel of the United Auto Workers said last year. “To me, it helps them. You don’t have to belong if you don’t want to. So if I go to an organizing drive, I can tell these workers, ‘If you don’t like this arrangement, you don’t have to belong’ versus ‘If we get 50 percent of you, then all of you have to belong, whether you like to or not.’ I don’t even like the way that sounds, because it’s a voluntary system, and if you don’t think the system’s earning its keep, then you don’t have to pay.”