Assembly Hearing On Right To Work Ends After 12 Hours Of Testimony

Most Of Those Who Spoke Were Opposed To The Bill

Shawn Johnson/WPR

An Assembly Labor Committee hearing on a right-to-work bill ended on Monday night after lawmakers heard nearly 12 hours of hearing public testimony, the majority of which came from people opposed to the legislation.

The full Assembly will take up the bill later this week. It’s largely expected to approve the legislation, which would then be sent to Gov. Scott Scott Walker’s desk for his signature.

While most of testimony at the hearing came from people arguing that right to work was a bid to weaken unions and would leave workers worse off, supporters of the bill also spoke. They asserted other right-to-work states had demonstrated that the legislation would help Wisconsin.

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Scott Manley with Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce told Assembly representatives and the packed hearing room that the bill is good for business because investments are more likely to flow into a right-to-work state. He pointed to the job growth Indiana has seen since passing similar legislation in early 2012.

“From our standpoint, we’d like to put Wisconsin in a position where we could compete for those types of projects that Indiana’s getting right now,” said Manley. “We’re second to them only in manufacturing intensity per capita. We’d … I think with Right -To-Work, we can much more aggressively compete for those kinds of investments.”

Democrats have argued that right-to-work laws lead to lower wages and a decline in workplace safety.

Republicans have fast-tracked the right-to-work bill after it was introduced to the Legislature by Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald 10 days ago. Gov. Scott Walker has indicated he will sign the bill.