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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Right To Work Makes It to Wisconsin

Many years ago, the Midwest was normally called the industrial heart of the nation or something similar to indicate just how many of the nation's factories were concentrated in this section of the country.  The region was the center of the labor movement.  The big parade on Labor Day was the one in Detroit, not some event in Washington or New York.  Wow, has that changed!

In the last few years, Michigan passed right to work legislation.  Michigan!  The new law provides that workers cannot be forced to join a union to work for a particular employer, and non-union employees no longer can be forced to pay union dues.  In other words, employees who think that they get nothing from the union in exchange for the dues no longer have to pay.  Unions have to win support by what they achieve for the workers and not by the strength of state law.

In the next day or so, Wisconsin is going to join Michigan with a right to work law.  Given the previous battles between unions and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, the unions are making a lot of noise about how the law is an attack on working men and women, but a funny thing has happened.  Polling in Wisconsin indicates that voters in that state favor right to work legislation by more than 60%.  The last poll was 62 to 38 percent in favor of the law. 


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