Walker Details Plan To Bludgeon Unions
At an appearance scheduled for Las Vegas in the afternoon, Mr. Walker plans to call for making it illegal for federal employees to join unions, extend right-to-work policies across the nation and eliminate the federal agency that investigates unfair labor practices.
“To grow the economy at a higher rate requires a comprehensive approach and reform of the labor unions is a key part of the plan,” Mr. Walker plans to say, according to an advance text of his remarks.
Mr. Walker shot to national prominence in 2011 by ending most collective bargaining rights of teachers and other public employees in Wisconsin, an effort that drew thousands of protesters to the Capitol, while making Mr. Walker a hero of conservatives nationwide, including big Republican donors like the Koch brothers. This year, he signed a bill making Wisconsin the nation’s 25th right-to-work state, which prevents private-sector unions from requiring workers to pay union dues.
Mr. Walker’s proposals for what he would do as president amount to the most sweeping curtailment of organized labor since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the National Relations Labor Act during the Great Depression, according to labor historians.
Mr. Walker’s core argument is that unions inhibit economic growth and job creation, and that union leaders - “big union bosses,” in his words - hold too much power over public officials.
Democrats say union membership has been a path to the middle class for millions of Americans. “By seeking to dismantle unions - the backbone of the middle class that gave us weekends, paid vacations, and child labor laws - Scott Walker is again placing his political ambitions and the demands of his billionaire benefactors ahead of middle-class Americans,” a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee said in a statement.