It’s been just more than a week since the AFL-CIO called Republican presidential hopeful Gov. Scott Walker a “disgrace,” but on Tuesday the union announced he is also its loser of the week.
“In our regular weekly feature, we’ll be taking a look at the winners and losers of the week in the struggle for the rights of working families,” the union said on its blog.
Walker officially announced his run July 13 on Twitter and with an official video. Within the same day, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called Walker a “national disgrace,” in a statement that went into no further detail. Now, because of his opposition to the minimum wage, the union is also declaring Walker its loser of the week.
“The winners will be the persons or organizations that go above and beyond to expand or protect the rights of working families,” the blog post continued. “The losers will be whoever went above and beyond to limit or deny those rights.”
Unions have been at odds with Walker since his first term as the governor of Wisconsin. It all started in 2011 when Walker curtailed union power by reforming state labor policy. The labor policy reforms brought Walker national attention and the wrath of national unions.
“The left claims they’re for American workers, and they’ve got lame ideas, things like minimum wage,” Walker told Sean Hannity on Fox News last week. “We need to talk about how we get people skills and qualifications they need to get jobs that go beyond minimum wage.”
The reforms, known as Act 10, significantly changed the collective bargaining process for most public employees within the state. It also required public unions to hold a renewal vote every couple of years to determine if workers still wanted them.
Labor unions and their supporters adamantly opposed the law and even tried to get Walker thrown out of office with a recall election in 2012. Walker, however, was able to overcome the attack and even won reelection during the 2014 midterm.
Republicans in the legislature went a step further in the past year when they passed a law which banned mandatory union dues as a condition of employment. Though Walker wasn’t directly involved in creating the measure, unions blamed him anyways.
The union awarded American workers who work overtime the winners of the week in honor of President Barack Obama’s proposal to expand overtime eligibility.
To get the Republican nomination, Walker will first have to beat Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul among others in the Republican primary.
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