With unions politically weakened, Republicans launch blizzard of legislative attacks

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – In statehouses nationwide, Republicans lawmakers are working to weaken organized labour, sometimes with efforts that directly shrink union membership.

Gov. Scott Walker’s signing of right-to-work legislation in Wisconsin on Monday puts his defiance of organized labour even more at the centre of his nascent presidential campaign. And the inability of unions to exact a price for the first round of legislation targeting them in 2011 is encouraging even more proposals to limit their power.

The Republican wave in the November elections left many unions nationwide looking exceptionally vulnerable. And now with many legislative sessions just beginning around the U.S., nearly 800 union-related bills have been proposed in statehouses. That’s according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.