On Monday, Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, signed a bill that will limit labor organizations in the state. Wisconsin is now the 25th state in the nation to pass such a law. The presidential hopeful Walker boasts confidently of his so-called accomplishments as a conservative governor in a historically liberal state. This is just a travesty. Working against the rights of workers in this country should be a criminal offense. The law itself will forbid labor contracts that would require private-sector workers to pay union dues. This will affect unionization rates statewide.
Walker is looking to secure the GOP nomination for president in 2016. At this moment, Walker is riding the headlines he has created over signing this new right-to-work legislation. When asked about ISIS, he was quoted as saying, “If I can take on 100,000 protestors, I can do the same across the world.” How this experience of ignoring the pleas from 100,000 non-violent American citizens translates into dealing with a violent terrorist group remains to be seen. This definitely seems a little familiar, a headline-grabbing conservative politician, coming from a traditionally liberal state, boasting about how his limited experience makes him a perfect candidate in dealing with America’s foreign policy. Walker is the reincarnation of Rudy Giuliani’s presidential ambitions. Walker can cry union-buster until he is blue in the face, but like Giuliani with 9/11, it does not make Walker qualified to deal with foreign policy.
President Barack Obama has come out publicly against Walker and his state’s right-to-work law. Late Monday, Obama announced to the press that the new legislation is “inexcusable.” Obama goes on to say, “Wisconsin is a state built by labor, with a proud pro-worker past.” Therefore, even as its governor claims victory over working Americans, I would encourage him to try to scare up a victory for working Americans via taking meaningful action to raise their wages, as well as offer them the security of paid leave.
Unions have played a very important role in shaping America. The unions have allowed many workers to demand safer working conditions, better pay, and many other benefits. Moreover, American unions have played an integral part in shaping this country’s middle class, and now Walker, a member of a party that likes to say they are for the middle class, has just dealt them a serious blow.
The most surprising part of this whole legislation is that Walker promised back in 2011 that he “would not let any legislation affecting private sector unions reach his desk.” It is amazing how much can change in just four short years. This kind of behavior is typical of most politicians trying to make a name for themselves in the year before a presidential election. They all want to stand out as the man who will stick it to the other party. This sort of behavior should not be condoned by the people of this country. It is time that we hold these politicians accountable for their promises and actions, but it is a little too late for Wisconsin as Scott Walker has signed this right-to-work law.
Opinion By James Dixson