Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker [official website] on Monday signed [Twitter post] a “right to work” bill [SB 44 materials], making Wisconsin the twenty-fifth state with such a law on the books. The legislation was approved by the Senate [JURIST report] last month and given final approval by the Assembly last week. The new law provides that workers cannot be compelled to join a union or to pay union dues and fees. Walker signed the bill into law Monday at a ceremony at Badger Meter. Supporters claim the new law will help draw business to the state, while opponents argue it will result in decreased wages and workplace safety.
Similar legislation is under consideration in Missouri, where the House of Representatives approved [JURIST report] “right to work” legislation last month. In November the Indiana Supreme Court upheld [JURIST report] the state’s right-to-work law, stating it did not violate the state’s constitution. The neighboring states of Michigan [JURIST report] and Illinois have also received challenges to their right to work laws. JURIST Guest Columnist Karla Swift of the Michigan State AFL-CIO [advocacy website] has argued [JURIST op-ed] that the “right to work” laws enacted by the Michigan Legislature in 2012 are unconstitutional and were enacted in violation of Michigan’s Open Meeting Act [text].