Group launches push for "Right to Work" legislation in Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A new battle may be on the horizon between Gov. Scott Walker and the labor movement. A group launched on Monday, December 1st, a push for "Right to Work" legislation.

Wisconsin Right to Work promises to "aggressively promote" legislation saying private sector workers could not be required to join a union. That kind of law could have a big impact on some of the area's largest employers like Caterpillar and Briggs & Stratton.

The group's founder said in a statement, "Our mission is to advance freedom in the workforce."

"Right to Work" has continually simmered in the aftermath of Act 10, Gov. Walker's signature law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers.

During the most recent campaign for governor in 2014, Walker told FOX6 News that "Right to Work" was not on his agenda for a second term.

''Any discussion of re-opening Act 10 for any reason - as well as right to work and a few other issues like that - would take our eye off the focus of the economic and fiscal issues here," said Gov. Walker.

After the election, Walker repeated the point.

"My answer after the election is no different than what I said before.  I just see that as a distraction," said Gov. Walker.

But now Republicans have stronger majorities in both the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly.

"On right to work, I've said in the past, I am a supporter of right to work," said State Rep. Robin Vos (R). "I don't think the public support is there at this time."

Union leaders say a "Right to Work" law would take away the ability of labor to bargain with management.

"Right to work really destroys the middle class, it destroys people's ability to have decent wages and have safe workplaces, that's what really happens with right to work legislation," said Stephanie Bloomingdale, Wisconsin AFL-CIO.

Gov. Walker has said over the last several months that it's not on his second term agenda. But what's just as important is what he has not said. He has not said if he would sign or veto the measure if it ever came to his desk. That means at least one group will be actively working to get it there.

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