A state lawmaker says he plans to introduce a right-to-work bill when the Legislature returns to session next year.
State Representative Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) says he’s working on legislation that would allow workers to choose their union status, by making Wisconsin a right-to-work state. Such a law would prohibit making union membership a condition of employment in the private sector. The Delafield Republican says “all we’re doing is saying is let’s give somebody a choice, when they walk into a business, if they want to be part of the union or not.”
It remains unclear exactly where the proposal would stand in the Legislature. Leadership has indicated they are open to having a discussion on the issue. While Governor Scott Walker has so far said right-to-work is not on his agenda for next year, the Republican governor has not indicated what he would do if the Legislature were to pass a bill and send it to his desk.
The measure will likely face strong opposition from minority Democrats and unions, although Kapenga says he doubts it will rise to the level seen during the contentious debate over Act 10. Protests surrounding Governor Walker’s collective bargaining legislation drew tens-of-thousands of people to the state Capitol for weeks. Union leaders have already come out against the idea of making Wisconsin a right-to-work state, arguing the change would drive down wages and hurt the middle class.