Unions: This time, We’ll Defeat Scott Walker

Labor groups are gearing up for another fight with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) now that he has entered the presidential race.

After a failed recall bid in Wisconsin, unions are determined to make sure Walker never sets foot in the Oval Office. But organized labor’s opposition could play well for Walker in the GOP primary because it appeals to his conservative base.

Some of the biggest unions are still formulating their plan of attack against Walker, even as they signal they will dip into their coffers to go after him. The strongest signal came from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

Shortly after taking over as governor in 2011, Walker signed legislation that severely weakened the collective bargaining rights of public sector employees such as teachers. Under the bill, state and local government workers — excluding police officers and firefighters — can only bargain for raises up to the point of inflation. Unions argue this move holds down wages throughout the state.

This led unions to attempt to recall Walker in 2012, which he ultimately survived.

Walker again targeted unions earlier this year after he was reelected, this time going after private sector unions. He signed right-to-work legislation that gives workers the choice to not join a union even if they indirectly benefit from the union’s collective bargaining agreements.

The back-and-forth with unions will only help raise Walker’s profile among potential Republican voters, said GOP strategist Ford O’Connell.

“This is political gold for Scott Walker in the Republican primary,” O’Connell said. “The fact that unions are attacking him and that he even won a recall election shows conservative voters that he’s a fighter who doesn’t back down and gets results.”

Read more from Tim Devaney at The Hill

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