A Dane County judge sided with unions and struck down Wisconsin’s right-to-work law.
The unions, including the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers and International Association of Machinists, argued the law amounts to an unconstitutional seizure of their property because it allows workers who don’t pay union dues to still receive union benefits.
State attorneys argued the law is constitutional since it technically doesn’t take any money out of union coffers.
Judge William Foust agreed the law amounts to taking the unions’ property without just compensation, and that it violates the state constitution. Laws require that unions provide collective bargaining for the employees, but the state law let employees choose whether they wanted to pay union dues. Foust wrote in his ruling, “Plaintiffs will be obligated to spend treasury — their property — on services for which they cannot legally request compensation. This is enough to establish that unions do have a legally protectable property interest at stake.”
He said while unions are seeing a small drop off in dues now right now, “they are not isolated, and the impact of Act 1 over time is threatening to the unions’ very economic viability.”
Attorney General Brad Schimel and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said the state will appeal:
“Once again a liberal Dane County judge is trying to legislate from the bench. No one should be forced to join a union or pay union dues as a condition of employment. I’m confident that this decision will be reversed in a higher court and worker freedom will prevail.” – Rep. Robin Vos
Federal courts ruled in favor of similar laws in Michigan and Indiana.
The judge allowed Wisconsin’s law to remain in effect while he considered the arguments.
After Friday’s ruling the Wisconsin AFL-CIO issued a statement reading in part:
Today, the courts put a needed check on Scott Walker’s attacks on working families by ruling that Wisconsin’s Right to Work law is in violation of our state constitution… Right to Work goes against the Wisconsin principles of fairness and democracy and hurts all of Wisconsin by eroding the strength of our middle class. Right to Work has always been unjust, now it’s proven unconstitutional.” — Phil Neuenfeldt, Wisconsin AFL-CIO president
Leave it to government or should I say a liberal judge to screw things up again. We have not seen the last of this fight. Non-union members should NOT be required to pay for union dues. Since when are dues “property”? Isn’t the threat more about forcing non-members to be in the union in the first place, so that the union can still exist because their numbers are dropping?
I look forward to Governor Scott Walker and Wisconsin’s continued fight for “We The People”.