Newsmakers: Labor Historian William Powell Jones
In a March 16 Newsmakers interview, UW-Madison professor and labor scholar William Powell Jones said he was surprised that Gov. Scott Walker pushed through the Legislature such broad changes that ended collective bargaining for public employees, except for cost-of-living pay raises tied to inflation. By also requiring all workers — union and nonunion — to vote annually on whether to continue union representation, and making the payment of union dues optional, Walker’s changes were designed to kill public employee unions, the associate professor of history said. Jones said he was not surprised that thousands of members of public and private-sector unions joined the fight against Walker’s changes, drawing national and international notoriety.