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Evers’ budget pushes to repeal right-to-work

MADISON (WKOW) — Parts of the governor’s budget would undo some of the policies of the previous administration, including labor reforms.

“We’re going to begin to undo the harm that has been done to organized labor,” Governor Tony Evers said.

He was very clear with his position on Friday during a meeting with AFL-CIO.

Multiple unions are praising his push to repeal former Governor Scott Walkers 2015 right-to-work law.

Under that law, if someone works in a unionized workplace, they’re not required to join that union or pay dues.

Frank Emspak, a former professor at UW Extension’s School for Workers and current producer at WORT’s Labor Radio, says the governor is on the right track.

“He’s trying to be true to what, I think, he believes in true to the notion of respect for working people and trade unions,” Emspak said. “He’s following through on that.”

He says that while right-to-work has had a negative impact on unions, it hasn’t been catastrophic.

“That’s probably because most people are reasonably happy with the kind of service they’re getting from unions,” Emspak said.

Not everyone is on board.

Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin has supported right-to-work, saying that no one should be forced to pay union dues without consent.

Friday, the group said the governor’s budget proposals would be a step backward.

Republican lawmakers agree.

“Certainly disappointed,” Sen. Scott Fitzgerald said. “To me that’s a thousand-page press release, not a budget.”

However, Emspak says that support for right-to-work is about more than just individual freedoms.

“The objective is to bankrupt the unions so they can no longer be a political force,” Emspak said.”People have said that many many times.”

Republicans in the Legislature have said they plan on writing their own budget.

While they have indicated they agree on some topics, right-to-work was not one of them.

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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