Ahead of the Labor Day weekend, I wanted to share a brief #FlashbackFriday to Doug Wardlow’s anti-labor antics from his single term in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
During that one term, Wardlow was a vocal champion for extreme anti-labor “right to work” legislation, which strips workers of their power to collectively bargain for better pay and working conditions for all.
Wardlow made a number of failed attempts to push this legislation which lowers worker pay, but most notable was the time he tried to unsuccessfully bypass Republican leadership with his extreme anti-labor antics (via Star Tribune):
House Speaker Kurt Zellers cannot understand why everyone is so interested in the Right to Work shenanigans on the House floor Thursday night.
“By no means is it shenanigans,” Zellers assured reporters Friday morning.
For those who missed the video, Rep. Doug Wardlow, a first-term Republican from Eagan, made an abortive attempt shift a proposed constitutional amendment that would make union membership optional in Minnesota, into to a different and possibly more receptive committee.
The maneuver – a breach legislative protocol, since Wardlow wasn’t the bill’s author – brought floor action to a grinding halt. Zellers read the motion, then turned expectantly to the chamber door, waiting for Wardlow to appear. Several awkward minutes of silence followed, before Zellers concluded the session without acting on the motion.
Wardlow put in a brief appearance as the session was ending but left without commenting. Zellers declined to say what the GOP caucus had to say to the freshman lawmaker behind closed doors that evening.
You can watch video of the nearly three minutes of awkward silence here.
But it’s not just the antics; Wardlow’s support for this extreme anti-worker legislation was too much for even Minnesota Republicans. “In the House, several prominent Republicans... opposed the measure.”
This wasn’t the only time Wardlow failed to advance his extreme anti-worker agenda during his single term in the state House: he also tried unsuccessfully to attach this attack on workers’ rights to the Vikings stadium bill.
Wardlow’s anti-labor antics were too extreme for Minnesota Republicans during his one term in the House of Representatives, and they are too extreme for the hardworking people of Minnesota now.