Walker won't promise veto of right-to-work

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A newly formed group pushing for a right-to-work law has some Republicans considering putting limits on private sector unions. On Friday, Governor Walker was asked about the issue after Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said he wanted to take up right-to-work early next year.

Eau Claire attorney Harry Hertel believes lawmakers will battle over whether Wisconsin will become a right to work state. Currently, there are 24 states that have a right-to-work law.

“From a political standpoint, it's a continuation of what was seen in Governor Walkers first term where he ended up essentially stripping unions of their power for state employees. I don't know if there would be a strong support for it around here, just given the results of the most recent election,” says Hertel.

Labor and employment attorney Stephen Weld says, the proposal wouldn't have a strong impact in the Chippewa Valley.

“Less than 7% of our employees are unionized in the country at this time, and the Chippewa Valley is on the light side of that, so I really don't see it as a major impact.

As for job creation, Weld believes the right-to-work law won't have a significant impact on labor force.

“I really don't see it as making a significant impact on the labor force. I think it's more of a political issue. The people who supported us in the political campaign want this and so we're going to do it. It's similar to Act 10 in the public sector,” says Weld.

While Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald hopes to take up right-to-work early next year, Governor Walker has announced that his focus will remain on other priorities.

“Legislation hasn't even been introduced and you have a new legislation coming into play in January. The Governor has said he isn't going to particularly push it, so I don't see this as something that's all that significant frankly,” says Weld.

In 1993, Walker sponsored a right-to-work bill. He says his position in support of the issue has not changed. He believes the current concern is a distraction and doesn't want to take focus off of his current priorities, including cutting taxes and consolidating government services.

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Gov. Scott Walker is refusing to say he would veto a right-to-work bill should it pass the Wisconsin Legislature, but he says he's prefer lawmakers not take the issue up at all.

Walker was asked about the issue Friday after Republican state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said he wanted to take up right-to-work early next year.

Walker says he still believes the issue is a distraction, and he doesn't want to take the focus off his priorities including cutting taxes and consolidating government services.

But Walker said he would not commit to vetoing the bill should it pass. He also refused to say whether he would sign a bill.

Walker sponsored a right-to-work bill in 1993 and he says his position in support of the issue has not changed.



 
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