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Labor Groups Decry Plan To Push Through Right-To-Work Legislation

State Chamber Of Commerce, However, Says Bill Is 'Common-Sense'

Wisconsin AFL-CIO (CC-BY-NC-SA)

Labor groups are unhappy with news that Republican lawmakers plan to vote on a right-to-work bill next week at the state Capitol.

Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt said right to work will not create jobs and will lower wages for all workers. Terry McGowan of the Operating Engineers told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the legislation’s real goal is to weaken unions

Stephanie Bloomingdale, secretary-treasurer of the state AFL-CIO, said that the move would not only weaken labor groups, but also in turn hurt wages for non-union employees.

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“As we all know, the American labor movement, the working men and women who put their voices together, they really built this middle class — and really the best middle class, the most stable middle class in the world,” said Bloomingdale.

Bloomingdale said it’s unfair for the state Legislature to take up right to work with such little notice.

Last September, Milwaukee Labor Council leader Sheila Cochran predicted the measure would be coming, if Republicans gained full political control of the state Capitol.

“They’re already getting themselves ready,” she said. “A portion of the business community wants that. We don’t.”

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce said on Friday that the right-to-work bill would bring common-sense reform aimed at creating workplace freedom.