Wisconsin Lawmakers Pass Right-to-Work Bill

Daily News Article - March 9, 2015


NOTE TO STUDENTS: This is a controversial issue for many Americans. Be polite to those with whom you disagree when discussing these types of issues and always give the other person a chance to explain his/her point of view. Also, learn how to recognize when it is no longer productive to discuss an issue on which you strongly disagree.

1. Define the following terms, most of which are used in the article:

  1. closed shop compared to union shop
  2. right to work state
  3. fast-tracked bill
  4. public-sector unions
  5. party-line vote
  6. collective bargaining
  7. public workers
  8. private-sector workers

2. The first paragraph of a news article should answer the questions who, what, where and when. List the who, what, where and when of this news item. (NOTE: The remainder of a news article provides details on the why and/or how.)

3. How did the Wisconsin Assembly vote on the bill?

4. How many protesters gathered to oppose the passage of the legislation (compared to 2011 when Governor Walker ended collective bargaining for public sector unions)?

5. Which two states were the most recent to pass right-to-work laws before Wisconsin?

CHALLENGE QUESTIONS: In a Gallup poll (gallup.com) from August 2014, 71% of Americans say they would vote in favor of a right-to-work law.

  1. Ask 3-5 people you know who work full-time whether their business is unionized. Ask at least one parent.
  2. If their business is unionized, do they support the passage of a right-to-work law in your state? Explain your answer.
  3. For those who work in non-union jobs, do they support the right of the union to have a closed shop state? Do they support the right of workers to work in a right-to-work or closed shop state? Ask them to explain their answers.
  4. If you attend a public or private school, also ask at least 2 teachers if they support right-to-work laws, and to explain their answers.