Work-share bill passed, stripped of union-related languageLawmakers have sent a bill to the Governor's desk that would let employers avoid layoffs by reducing workers' hours, but it was stripped of a reminder to respect union bargaining agreements.
By: By Shawn Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Lawmakers have sent a bill to the Governor's desk that would let employers avoid layoffs by reducing workers' hours, but it was stripped of a reminder to respect union bargaining agreements.
A couple dozen states have work-share systems like the one that passed the Senate yesterday. The difference is that in those other states, the laws include specific reminders to employers to respect collective bargaining agreements.
Kenosha Senator Robert Wirch was among several Democrats to point out yesterday that in this bill, that warning is gone: “Folks, this is common sense in 24 different states, but in Wisconsin, we choose to make this a provocative act against unions.“
Pewaukee Republican Senator Paul Farrow says the warning was taken out because it is duplicative. Private-sector employers will have to respect any collective bargaining agreements with their employees, whether they are reminded to or not.
“So I fail to see how we're trying to singlehandedly change the collective bargaining laws by one small program that would affect companies across the state and give them another tool that allows them to hang onto their skilled labor.”
The plan passed the Senate on a party-line vote, although it earlier passed the state Assembly with broad bipartisan support.