MADISON, Wis., Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Most state employee unions in Wisconsin have decided not to seek the recertification required by Gov. Scott Walker's new labor law, officials say.
Unions that do not file petitions for recertification elections by 4:30 p.m. Thursday automatically will be decertified, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. As of Thursday morning, only four small state employee unions had said they would go for recertification.
Unions that lose certification can still function as membership organizations, but the state does not have to bargain with them or recognize them.
Marty Beil, executive director of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, which represents 23,000 people, said the recertification process is stacked against unions. To win, unions must get the votes of a majority of members -- and do it every year.
"We looked at the law and we find the law at best an exercise in wasted resources," Beil said. "We've chosen to use our resources to organize our members and advocate for our members."
Only 13 county and local worker unions have petitioned for recertification, the Journal Sentinel said. Many local contracts are still in force, and unions do not have to seek recertification until they expire.
The law, which stripped public employees of most collective bargaining rights, brought thousands of union members to Madison to protest earlier this year.