Fox 6 Now: Area Industrial Union Workers Debate Right-to-Work Legislation

Watch 9to5 Wisconsin Chapter Director Martha De La Rosa speak about the Right to Work legislation.

Reposted from Fox 6 Now

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Reactions are mixed about how Right-to-Work legislation would impact Wisconsin. But for Governor Walker’s pursuit of the presidency, it could prove a pivotal point.

“I think what’s going to happen is there’s going to be a Niagara Falls of money that’s going to flow into the 527,” said Professor of Urban Studies at UWM, Mordecai Lee.

Walker took the political world by storm with a breakout performance at last month’s Freedom Summit in Iowa. Since then, he’s been one of the hottest names in the republican party. He has not officially declared himself a candidate for president yet, but he has started up a 527 organization called ‘Our American Revival’.

“The big breakthrough of what he accomplished by doing this instead of by having a regular campaign committee is there are no limits on contributions,” said Lee.

Our American Revival can’t specifically tell people who to vote for, but it can spend money on things like issue advertising.

“They can spend it aggressively saying we support Right-to-Work, we’re a 527 group, we believe in Right-to-Work, and by the way, Scott Walker just supported in Wisconsin a Right-to-Work,” said Lee.

Lee says Right-to-Work is one of those issues that a wide spectrum of republicans can and will get behind. Combine that with the fact that his organization can accept unlimited contributions — and signing off on Right-to-Work could keep our American revival’s coffers well stocked, thereby helping Walker compete for the republican nomination.

“I think it’s going to instantaneously increase the pot of money that the 527 is going to get and I think they’re going to be spending it aggressively,” said Lee.

Another thing Professor Lee pointed out is that 527 organizations allow contributors to pretty much remain anonymous. That means donors who have publicly committed to another candidate might still choose to donate to Our American Revival in appreciation for Walker signing Right-to-Work. And they can do that without the public thinking they’ve revoked their support for someone else.

There are a lot of industrial unions here in Wisconsin. But in the past few years, the number of unions has been going down. So passing Right-to-Work could put even more of a strain on those unions — or even be the end for some.

This is what happened last time the spotlight was on organized labor, specifically public unions with Act 10.

With the fate of unions in the private sector in question, there might be a similar scene at the state capitol. State Director of 9to5 Wisconsin, Martha De La Rosa, will be there.

“It’s time to get organized and get our members riled up about this. I’m going to Madison to stand in solidarity with those everyday heroes, I want them to know that I have their back and I support them,” said De La Rosa.

De La Rosa’s organization represents women in the work force, and their rights.

“I thought it was devastating for everyone. Not just women, working families in general, the middle class in particular,” said De La Rosa.

However, some organizations that represent business are on the opposite side of this issue.

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce calls the announcement of extraordinary session next week ‘fantastic.’

In a statement the president and CEO says:

“Senate Majority Leader Scott Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, deserve the highest praise for moving expeditiously to pass Right-to-Work into law.”

Right-to-Work, is shorthand for a business friendly law which prohibits unions at private companies from requiring workers to pay fees for representation.

“This is really big. This is almost like a corner turning moment in history,” said Lee.

Lee says another unique aspect of this is how quickly it’s all happening. He says that’s because law makers learned their lesson back in 2011.

“You introduce a bill on Monday morning and get it to the governors desk by Friday night — in other words, you don’t extend it,” said Lee.

De La Rosa says she and her organization are encouraging people to call and write their legislators, and go to the capitol to protest next week.

As for whether labor unions will protest, Lee says that will be a strategic decision on their part.

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