PRESIDENT OBAMA SAYS NEW WISCONSIN RIGHT-TO-WORK LAW WILL HURT WORKERS

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On March 9, 2015, Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation making Wisconsin the 25th right-to-work state, saying the new law demonstrates that his state is "open for business." Wisconsin joined two other states in enacting a right-to-work law, Indiana and Michigan, as each passed such laws during 2012. Similar bills were introduced in some 20 states last year, and this year such bills have been introduced in Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico and West Virginia. President Obama responded negatively to the legislation, stating he is "deeply disappointed" in this "anti-worker" law that allows employees in union workplaces to back out of paying union dues.

Some efforts to pass right-to-work legislation has actually shifted to the local level. Last December, Warren County, Kentucky, became the first U.S. county to pass a right-to-work law. Several other Kentucky counties quickly followed. Unions have sued to overturn such legislation, contending that federal labor law only allows right-to-work law at the state level. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed legislation to allow voter referendums for county or municipal right-to-work, but the Illinois attorney general says such approaches are illegal. Last year Maine Gov. Paul LePage proposed offering business owners a right-to-work policy that would apply to any large company that promised to make major investments and add large numbers of jobs.

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