National

A “Frank” Talk about Right to Work

Policy

Illinois is surrounded. Surrounded that is, by six states with right-to-work laws, and to counter what many in the Land of Lincoln feel may be the inevitable (Enactment of its own law), forces of the status quo are doing a full court press to maintain it.

Among those is a familiar face to Wisconsinites, former Doyle administration Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi. Busalacchi, a former president of a Milwaukee-area Teamsters Local, appears with others such as former Clinton administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich in a series of videos for the website “RightToWorkHurts.com.”

In the video, Busalacchi appears for a few seconds and claims that since Wisconsin passed its right-to-work law in 2015, ‘job growth has slowed and wages are down.’

No data is currently available to back Busalacchi’s claim. In fact, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is relatively low.

Just last week, the state Department of Workforce Development posted the state’s unemployment numbers for August. They showed the state had added 20,100 new jobs between August 2016 and August 2017 and the unemployment rate currently stood at 3.4 percent; compare to 4.4 percent nationally.

Also of note is that the website provides no transparency whatsoever. There is no listed disclaimer of who owns, operates, or paid for the website. However, based on its tone, its cherry-picked statistics, and the external web links provide make it look and feel like it was paid for by labor unions.

Despite what critics like Reich and Busalacchi may claim, right-to-work laws have shown to give a needed economic boost to states who pass them. With each state in the union looking for

Most economic analysts and some lawmakers believe Wisconsin would have never been in the running for Foxconn without its recently passed right-to-work law. Showcasing that such policies have made the Badger State much more much more attractive to potential employers over other states.

Ironically, just as Illinois and other hardline anti-Right-to-Work states begin their latest advocacy against worker freedom, the battle against them in Wisconsin died a quiet death in a court room on Tuesday. It was there that a Wisconsin State Appeals Court panel of three judges officially ended the last appeal against Wisconsin’s right-to-work law.

A Wisconsin appeals court upheld the state’s right-to-work law on Tuesday, handing Gov. Scott Walker a victory by reversing a lower court ruling that had struck down the law he championed as unconstitutional last year.

 

The 3rd District Court of Appeals rejected the challenge brought by three unions — the AFL-CIO’s Wisconsin chapter, Machinists Local Lodge 1061 and United Steelworkers District 2. The law has been in effect while the court challenge was pending.

The decision essentially ends all legal challenges to the law.

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