Features, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Wisconsin Passes Bill to Pre-Empt Local Labor Laws

April 3, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

MADISON, Wisc.—Wisconsin’s Assembly passed a bill Mar. 22 prohibiting local governments from adopting labor regulations stronger than the state’s, and Gov. Scott Walker is expected to sign it. Assembly Bill 748, approved on a party-line vote, will bar counties and municipalities from requiring employers on publicly funded projects to make “labor peace” agreements or provide benefits; setting standards for scheduling; and investigating wage-theft claims. It also prevents local governments from using union apprenticeship programs, saying that they can’t require anyone to enter into an agreement with a labor organization or accept a collective-bargaining agreement. That provision has several elected officials in southeast Wisconsin urging Walker to veto the bill. “Every single county executive, mayor, village official that I talked to are all 100 percent opposed to this legislation,” state Rep. Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) told the Racine Journal Times. “The only time this comes into play is when they’re asking the taxpayers to help foot the bill. If the taxpayers are footing the bill, it’s perfectly appropriate for a county executive or a mayor, village president to say ‘We’re happy to help you, but help us.’” Read more

April 3, 2018

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