In a surprise move, the Wisconsin Legislature has called an extraordinary session to pass Right to Work legislation that will curb the worst abuses of union power – the power to coerce workers in certain fields into mandatory union membership. The efforts of Scott Walker against the public sector unions and in support of growing GOP numbers in the Wisconsin legislature have apparently emboldened legislators to tackle the abuses of private sector unions as well:
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos will announce Friday that the legislature will meet in Extraordinary Session next week to consider and pass Right to Work legislation, sources tell Right Wisconsin.
The decision will likely set up the most dramatic moments in the legislative debate since the fight over Act 10 in 2011.
Consideration of a Right to Work bill will start in the State Senate where Majority Leader Fitzgerald is reportedly confident that he has at least the 17 votes necessary for passage. The move comes as a surprise, since most observers had expected action to wait until Republican Duey Stroebel was seated in the senate in April to fill the seat vacated by US Rep. Glenn Grothman. There are currently 18 GOP senators. Stroebel will give Republicans 19 members.
“I was pleasantly surprised that we had 17 Senators who said yes, let’s do it now and let’s do it quickly,” said Fitzgerald in an interview with Charlie Sykes on 620 WTMJ. “We will move Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and hopefully sometime Wednesday evening or sometime early in the morning on Thursday the Senate will complete its actions and message it over to the Assembly.”
The 63 seat Republican majority in the Assembly will provide ample comfort to pass workplace freedom legislation even if some Republicans decide to vote against the bill.
Whatever you think about private sector unions generally, anyone who isn’t a certified union thug or partisan Democrat hack should agree that people should be as free as possible to decide whether to form or join a union. Compulsory union membership by trade is an abusive and anti-capitalist practice that creates massive marketplace waste and offers countless opportunities for corruption and intimidation.
However, it is a great deal for elected Democrats because the unions count on them to protect their abuses and their worst rent-seeking behaviors. Accordingly, expect the unions to put the screws to Democrats to use every measure available to them – whether legal or illegal, to prevent this legislation from going forward. This bill will likely be opposed with all the same insane vociferousness as Act 10 was, complete with high profile protests and childish antics by the Democrats who have utterly lost power in Wisconsin.
Governor Walker has announced that he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk, and he anticipates leading the fight for it. Clearly, even though he has already proven his battle chops over the last 5 years, Walker isn’t content to rest on his laurels going forward, especially into the 2016 primary season.