Gov. Scott Walker wants to make the most public fight of his administration a national issue should he run for president.
In an interview with Radio Iowa, the Wisconsin Republican made the case for a national “right to work” law:
“As much as I think the federal government should get out of most of what it’s in right now, I think establishing fundamental freedoms for the American people is a legitimate thing and that would be something that would provide that opportunity in the other half of America to people who don’t have those opportunities today.”
Currently, twenty-five states have right-to-work law. But if Walker were the nominee, he would likely make right-to-work a centerpiece of his candidacy.
During his tenure as Governor, Walker has fought for the laws, which, according to Radio Iowa:
“...forbid organized labor from forcing non-union workers to pay union dues or fees in a workplace where employees have voted to unionize.”
In a piece for National Review, attorney Peter Kirsanow wrote:
“Public-sector unions contribute millions to the campaigns of the very individuals who will be negotiating the contracts with the unions. Both management and labor know this and understand it’s happily ridiculous.”
Walker saw this, and fought accordingly to put an end to what he viewed as a system of corrupt cyclical benefits between government and public sector unions:
“For example, we got rid of seniority and tenure. You can hire and fire based on merit. You can pay based on performance...We found in our schools and our local and state governments you can put the best and the brightest in those positions.”
Interestingly enough, Walker isn't the only one talking about such issues.
His position is not dissimilar to that of recently announced presidential candidate, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who has condemned seniority and tenure on multiple occasions:
“The single greatest impediment to equal pay for equal work is the seniority system, which pays not on merit and not on performance, but on time and grade...and who is it who supports the seniority system? Unions, [and] government bureaucracies...”
It appears as though public sector unions, seniority, and tenure may develop into hot-button issues during the 2016 election cycle, given that two prominent candidates owe much of their success to fighting them.
The other candidates should prepare accordingly. This could escalate quickly.