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Politics & Government

Walker Releases Plan to Weaken Unions Nationally

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Gov. Walker says he wants to do nationally, what he did in Wisconsin, when it comes to weakening public and private sector labor unions. He would go further by eliminating the National Labor Relations Board and striking recent orders from the Obama administration.

Last week, while on the campaign trail, Walker announced part of his plan.

“I’m going to stop the government from taking money, money out of the paychecks of federal employees for political union dues because, I don’t think any worker in this country should be required to put money into a political fund that doesn’t support candidates that they don’t support,” Walker said.

On Monday, Walker tweeted out a link to his bigger plan, calling it, "My Plan To Give Power To The People, Not The Union Bosses."

Walker wants to make the entire country 'right to work', meaning employees could decide whether or not to pay union dues. He signed a similar law into effect in Wisconsin, following up on Act 10, the law that weakened most public sector unions in the state.

Those actions catapulted him into the national spotlight, and he hopes it will work again, according to Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law School Poll.

"This is playing to his strengths within the Republican Party, as a leader in the anti-union movement which he is very well known for, in Wisconsin," Franklin says.

Nationally, Walker's plan calls for the elimination of the National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency charged with protecting workers' rights to organize and be treated fairly in the workplace. Walker claims the board has become nothing more than an advocate for big labor, which he says favors big government.

His plan would also roll back President Obama's orders that employers pay overtime to more salaried workers and that federal contractors provide paid sick leave for employees.

Marquette's Charles Franklin is interested to learn what traction the governor's ideas gain among fellow contenders.

"This is going to get very sharp negative reactions from Democrats and from labor unions. It will be interesting to see how other Republican candidates respond to it and if they line up with the governor in opposing unions in this way," Franklin says.

Recent polls show Walker dropping among the Republican candidates for president, after he had been a front-runner for months.

He now promises to release one major position each week, on what he would immediately do as president. His first was Monday, on unions.