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Wisconsin Bill Allows State to Fire Employees Who Strike

Andy Kroll of Mother Jones reports on a provision in the just-passed Wisconsin bill banning collective bargaining by most public-sector union employees:

there's another explosive provision in the bill that's received little attention: The bill authorizes state officials to fire any state employee who joins a strike, walk-out, sit-in, or coordinated effort to call in sick.

According to an analysis (PDF) of the Senate bill by Wisconsin's Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB), the legislation gives state officials the power to fire workers during a "state of emergency" declared by the governor under several conditions. If a state employee misses three working days without an approved leave of absence, that's grounds for being fired. State workers can also be dumped if, according to the LFB's analysis, they participate in a "strike, work stoppage, sit-down, stay-in, slowdown, or other concerted activities to interrupt the operations or services of state government, including mass resignations or sick calls."

The implications of this under-the-radar provision are significant. After the state senate passed its bill, talks swirled of organizing a coordinated strike or walk-out to protest the bill's attack on collective bargaining....

Under this measure, if such protests occur, Walker could declare a state of emergency, and protesting workers could be canned.

Read the full story at Mother Jones.

Presented by

Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

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