opinions over right-to-work
Walker prepares to sign bill, residents concerned about
By NICHOLAS DETTMANN - Daily News
Tackes is afraid the pension he’s been building for more
than 25 years won’t be available in three years.
However, Germantown’s Anne Doran believes people should
be allowed to make a choice.
The controversial right-to-work bill in the state
Legislature has communities divided. The legislation
passed in the Senate last week and passed in the House
on Friday morning by a 62-35 vote.
“I’ve been doing this for 30-some years,” said Tackes, a
union member who works in masonry. “I expect it to be
there. It’s disheartening for me.”
Tackes is 52 years old and when he started in Local 113
Laborers Union he planned to retire at age 55.
“Now that’s not a sure thing,” Tackes said.
The bill now moves to Gov. Scott Walker’s desk. He said
he will sign the bill into law Monday.
If so, Wisconsin will be the 25th right-to-work state in
“At a time when many families are struggling, the
legislation will make things tough for them,” said Tanya
Lohr, chairwoman for the Democratic Party of Washington
County. “It’s not comprehendible.”
“I see this as a clear attack on the middle class,” she
added. “I’m concerned about the future of the state if the
middle class disappears.”
The right-to-work bill makes it
illegal for a private-sector business to enter into
an agreement with unions that require all workers to
pay union dues, which would negatively impact the
bargaining power of unions in the blue-collar state
Indiana and Michigan are the two
most recent states to pass the law, doing so in
Doran, a committee chairwoman
for the Washington County Republican Party, said she
“I favor the idea of people
having the right to choose,” she said. “If they want
to be a member of the union, let them, if not, then
Doran added she can justify her
reasoning because she was a union member and had
family members who also were.
Doran worked in the Menomonee
Falls School District and retired in 1998.
“It could open up interest from
outside industries,” Doran said. “There are some
30-odd states that have right-to-work. If we didn’t
have it, they might be going to other states. It can
affect the economy.”
To Tackes and the Democrats, the
bill would affect the economy the other way.
“Unions protect the middle class
and ensures the middle class continues to exist,”
Lohr said. “It’s what drives the economy.”
“I think wages go down, the
middle class shrinks and the economy goes down,”
Tackes has paid union dues for
about 25 years.
In discussions he’s had with his
union representative, Tackes has been warned his
pension may be gone in as little as three years with
“I was planning on retiring at
55 and having my pension there,” Tackes said. “That
may not happen. I now may have to work another 15-20
years to put something away for retirement. I could
be working until I’m 70. That wasn’t in my plans.”
“Thirty years ago, you’re
starting a plan,” he added. “The plan was to retire
at 55 and have my pension. Now, that’s not a sure
Giving people freedom is more
important for Doran.
has a right for a chance at a job and a union,” she