Wisconsin: Replacing Union Workers With Prisoners


Some unions who didn’t have a contract in place, lost some of their power as Governor Walker’s collective bargaining changes begin to take effect. In Racine County, it means inmates doing some of the work unions had previously bargained for.

Last June, the county took Racine inmates out of their jail cells and put them behind lawn movers. They were cutting the grass in areas that the county executive says were neglected, due to budget cuts. Local unions filed a grievance saying work like that should be done by union members.

A judge agreed, but now with the new collective bargaining rules in effect, that’s the kind of thing the unions can no longer negotiate. That means the county is putting the inmates back to work and adding to their to-do list.

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