Last month, Changing Gears’ Niala Boodhoo took a look at Wisconsin, a year after Republican Gov. Scott Walker won legislation that strips most public employees of their bargaining rights.
Now, The Atlantic Monthly is weighing in with its own take on Walker, and it had a tidbit that caught our eye. Staff writer Molly Ball asked Walker if he supported a Right to Work law, like the one that recently passed the Indiana legislature.
Walker replied, ”Not oppose it, it’s just not something we’re pursuing right now.” He went on, “It’s not something I’m pursuing right now, nor have any plan of pursuing.”
That sounds almost word for word what Michigan’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder, says about a Right to Work law, which would prevent unions from collecting mandatory dues when employees decline to join.
Lawmakers in Michigan are proposing Right to Work legislation, but Snyder says it is a divisive issue, adding it isn’t appropriate in Michigan in 2012. He says the issue could distract from his agenda of fixing the state’s economy.
Ohio’s Republican governor, John Kasich, whose efforts to eliminate public employee bargaining rights were overturned by voters, also has said Right to Work is not on his to-do list, although lawmakers have proposed the measure there, too.
Walker acknowledges he supported Right to Work when he was in the Wisconsin legislature. In the Atlantic interview, he goes on to say that “private-sector unions have been our partner in the economic revival we’ve had in this state. A bigger issue is the impact the public-sector unions have had on the taxpayers. And that’s essentially what we have in Wisconsin — right-to-work in the public sector.”
Walker may be trying to seem more moderate, since he is likely to face a recall election. His opponents collected more than 1 million signatures in an effort to put the matter on the ballot. Once the signatures are counted, an election could be held this spring,