In an effort to reinvigorate his flagging campaign, Scott Walker has emerged as a conservative soldier, championing the cause of the average American business. He told the world Monday that he is prepared to take on and defeat America’s unions.
As of January 2014, over 10% (14.6 million) of American workers were part of a union. Fewer than 7% of those people worked in private firms; the majority worked for the government or other public services.
In 1984, 28 states had a unionization rate of more than 15%. That number has since dropped to 9 states. Unions have all but vanished in the South, and while unions in states like New Jersey and New York have a voice in the Democratic Party, they are nowhere near as strong as they were 100 years ago.
Wisconsin Governor and GOP candidate Scott Walker hopes to quicken the trend and completely abolish all unions in the U.S. He released his anti-union plan on Monday, calling it “My Plan to Give Power to the People, Not the Union Bosses.”
“We need a leader who can wreak havoc on Washington and put the American people back in charge of our government,” he said last week. “America also needs a leader who has been tested. I have been tested like no one else in this race.”
Walker hopes his new strategy will boost his dwindling campaign. While he started off fairly strong, current polls show him with less than 5% in key states.
Walker’s plan to destroy unions is simply a bigger version of the ideas he implemented in Wisconsin. It involves an end to collective bargaining for federal employees and a rule that would require full disclosure regarding union expenditures and complete compensation of union officers.
Walker plans to sign a “right to work law” that would block unions from creating contracts that require all workers – whether or not they are part of the union – to pay dues for negotiating with management and to abolish wage controls for federal infrastructure projects.
Walker also plans to destroy the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a corrupt group (with 1,600 full-time employees) that investigates unfair labor practices and holds elections for labor union reps.
The NLRB has flourished under President Obama’s rule, becoming – as Walker says – “a one-sided advocate for big labor special interests.” Walker hopes to transfer this power to federal courts and to the National Mediation Board – a group with only 50 employees.
Walker’s plan would lead to a refreshing change regarding the current relationship between employees and their employers. “Any economic plan that does not bring our federal labor laws into the 21st Century is incomplete,” said Walker. “To grow the economy at a higher rate requires a comprehensive approach and reform of the labor unions is a key part of the plan.”
Scott Walker has done something much more important than boost his popularity with this new strategy: he has solidly outlined a plan and put it on paper – a feat many candidates never accomplish.