With his presidential campaign running up against flagging poll numbers, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will try to set himself apart from the pack of Republican candidates, by proposing sweeping restrictions on labor unions on the federal level which would mirror his union fighting initiatives in Wisconsin.
Walker released his plans prior to a campaign event at a factory in Las Vegas on Monday. It’s a far more sweeping package than his Act-10 public union limits from 2011, and the state’s right-to-work law four years later.
Walker will propose to abolish federal employee unions, scrap the National Labor Relations Board, give right-to-work protections to all employees unless their states ban it, and make it harder for unions to organize. Some changes could be adopted with executive orders. Others need congressional approval. Many would affect all levels of government. Some would affect private-sector unions.
“The NLRB is broken beyond repair and should be eliminated,” Walker wrote. Walker’s proposal would eviscerate the 1935 National Labor Relations Act signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression.
“For too long, union special interests in Washington have used the system to unfairly benefit themselves at the expense of the American worker,” Walker wrote. “The commonsense reforms outlined here will focus the federal government’s role to ensure that special-interest loopholes are closed once and for all. My reforms will preserve long-standing democratic principles and protect employee privacy.”
Walker’s proposal targeting organized labor comes as the candidate struggles to reignite early interest in his campaign. Walker – the leader among Republican candidates in Iowa in the July Quinnipiac poll – has seen his support plummet there. His Quinnipiac poll ratings peaked at 21 percent in May, before he’d officially entered the campaign.
Just 3 percent of respondents to the latest poll said they would support him. He had been at 7 percent in July’s Monmouth University poll of likely GOP voters in the New Hampshire presidential primary, but is now at just two percent in the latest Monmouth poll.