It was a year ago tonight when Senate Republicans approved changes to collective bargaining for public workers. (Act 10).
It’s likely nothing more than a symbolic effort; even so, two lawmakers are calling for a reversal of Governor Scott Walker’s collective bargaining law. State Senator Fred Risser, Wisconsin’s longest-serving legislator, remembers implementing the ability to collectively bargain — 53 years ago. He says he helped implement collective bargaining in the 1959 legislative session and it has worked.
Risser and State Representative Mark Pocan — both Madison Democrats — are pushing their Collective Bargaining Restoration Act (AB-338/SB-233). David Boetcher, with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, touts the benefits to most workers across the country because of unions, including the eight-hour work day and the 40-hour work week.
There’s only one week remaining in this legislative session, so the proposal is unlikely to be scheduled for discussion; Democrats don’t have the votes to pass it, and Governor Walker wouldn’t repeal legislation he signed into law.
Risser and Pocan are confident this summer’s recall elections will favor the Democrats, after which, Risser says their proposal will be “one of the first” things they’ll discuss. Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s largest labor coalition, the AFL-CIO, is planning candle-light vigils tonight throughout the state.
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:34