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Monday, March 2, 2015

 1:57 PM 

WMC: Companies, not unions, pay for training

Dems on the committee challenged representatives of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce over who pays for worker training the unions provide and how much industry actually supports right-to-work.

Scott Manley and Bill Reader said records show that it is the employers, not unions who have shouldered the cost of training.

But Rep. Christine Sinicki, D-Milwaukee, noted Politifact earlier rated that statement "mostly false."

Manley disagreed with the Politifact rating and noted that Politifact said the statement was "technically true."

Regardless, Manly said, nothing in the bill prohibits workers from paying for their own training and that union training programs are offered in right-to-work states.

Rep. Cory Mason, D-Racine, responded later, "Isn't it like saying employers pay for everyone's houses because they pay for wages?"

Rep. Tod Ohnstad, D-Kenosha, challenged Manley over why no manufacturers have testified in favor of right-to-work at today's or the senate's hearing.

Manley said WMC represents manufacturers and that companies don't want to "stick their heads out" and choose to have the WMC speak for them "instead of subjecting themselves to the type of harassment and boycotting" he said they experienced during the Act 10 debate.

Manley also responded to comments that workplace safety would suffer under right-to-work.

Manley said lost-time injury rates are 33 percent lower in right-to-work states than compulsory union states.

But he said making such statements is not a fair comparison because it does not take into account the types of industries states have. He noted Wisconsin has higher than average injury rates but it is also heavy in injury-prone industries like manufacturing and agriculture.


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