Wisconsin Celebrates Six Year Anniversary of Becoming a Right to Work State
MADISON – Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) – the combined state chamber and manufacturers’ association – called on members of Congress to defend freedom of choice in the workplace by opposing the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (H.R. 842), otherwise known as the PRO Act.
The passage of the PRO Act would undermine workers’ rights, undercut Wisconsin’s economy and hamper the state’s business climate. Among other detrimental aspects of the bill, the PRO Act would:
- Eliminate Right to Work laws across the country, including Wisconsin’s Right to Work law.
- Eliminate secret ballots for employee unionization votes, which could open workers up to threats and coercion.
- Essentially eliminate the use of independent contractors, having a devastating effect on “gig” economy workers like Uber and Lyft drivers, freelancers and independent workers in the construction industry, among others.
- Authorize unions to organize boycotts against companies that they do not currently have a labor dispute with – something that is currently illegal.
- Expand the definition of “joint employer,” making many companies, especially franchises, liable for workplaces they do not control and workers they do not employ.
“Anti-worker policies like the PRO Act would eliminate freedom of choice in the workplace – empowering unions while undermining workers,” said WMC Senior Director of Workforce & Employment Policy Chris Reader. “Wisconsin workers currently have a choice on whether or not they join a union and pay union dues. Unfortunately, some members of Congress and our governor want to take that choice away.”
In addition to Congress attempting to pass the PRO Act, Gov. Tony Evers has introduced numerous labor policy changes in his state budget, including the repeal of Wisconsin’s Right to Work law.
WMC Celebrates Right to Work’s Six Year Anniversary
On Mar. 9, 2015, Wisconsin became the 25th Right to Work state in the union, following Indiana and Michigan. Since that time, Wisconsin’s pro-worker policies have expanded freedom of choice in workplaces across the Badger State, leading to strong economic growth, record-low unemployment numbers and increased opportunities for Wisconsinites across the state.
Among other benefits, Right to Work states often experience faster job growth, higher wage growth and a more competitive business climate.
- Faster Job Growth: Between 2001 and 2016, private sector employment in Right to Work states grew at 27 percent compared to 15 percent in non-Right to Work states.
- Higher Wage Growth: Over the same time period, personal income in Right to Work states grew by 39 percent compared to 26 percent in non-Right to Work states.
- Lower Unemployment: On average, the annual unemployment rate in Right to Work states was 0.4 percentage points lower than in non-Right to Work states.
“The data has proven that Right to Work states perform better on nearly every economic indicator there is,” added Reader. “While Gov. Evers and his friends in Congress try to sell these policies as pro-worker, nothing could be further from the truth. These pieces of legislation are simply a handout to powerful union bosses who want to coerce more members into their ranks.”