The Huffington Post reported today that, despite wide protests, the GOP-controlled Wisconsin State Senate fast-tracked a bill that would make the state the 25th "right-to-work" state in the U.S.. Gov. Scott Walker, a vocal opponent of labor, has promised to sign the bill if it passed.
This is not only a sad day for the working people of Wisconsin, but a blow to organized labor across the country, as now one half of our nation's fifty states have drank the Kool-Aid that is "right-to-work."
This comment from "Sevenninetyeight Member" says it all:
"I've worked both Union and non Union as a pipefitter and welder. Working non Union, my wages varied from $12 to $15 per hour. I had to furnish all small hand tools, welding hood, gloves, safety glasses and hard had. I had to pay a weekly premium for my health insurance. My last non Union welding job consisted of 50 hours a week in a fabrication shop. After taxes, my take home was $432 a week.
Working as a Union pipe fitter, I furnish no tools, no hard hat, not safety glasses, and pay no weekly premiums out of my negotiated wage. My wages average, depending on state, between $25 and $30 per hour. My average take home is around $800.
As a non Union employee, if any tool is lost, stolen or broken, I had to replace it out of pocket.
As a Union employee, the company furnishes.
These companies are saving more than just hourly wages. They are passing along tool costs and insurance cost to workers.
In the end, the worker loses.
Good luck, Wisconsin."