Details on SB 44/AB 61, "Freedom of Conscience in the Workplace" billWisconsin Family Action
Some call this legislation Right to Work. We call this "Freedom of Conscience in the Workplace"legislation. Essentially, SB 44/AB 61 says Wisconsin workers will have their individual conscience rights respected and will not be forced to join and/or pay dues to a labor union if they choose not to do so.
In recent years, labor unions have taken positions on (and sometimes even funded organizations working on) issues such as abortion and marriage redefinition--positions not shared by all their members. Unions have also frequently supported, by endorsement and/or funding, political candidates whose positions on issues such as abortion and/or marriage are opposed to the positions of some of their members.
Article I, Sec. 18 of our Wisconsin Constitution guarantees liberty of conscience to all citizens: "nor shall any control of, or interference with, the rights of conscience be permitted...." This liberty of conscience should be extended to the workplace. No one should have to violate his/her conscience in order to be employed.
SB 44/AB 61 ensures that the conscience rights of all WI workers are respected.
SB 44/AB 61 does not do away with labor unions in Wisconsin. All SB 44/AB 61 does is to make belonging to a labor union a matter of choice for an employee. For many this is a matter of, finally, being able to work without having their conscience rights violated because they've been forced to join and pay their hard-earned money to a union whose ideological and political positions are different from theirs.
Such freedom of conscience is a fundamental right
of our American and Wisconsin citizenship.