From the WI AFL-CIO:
Wisconsin is no longer a Right to Work state! Wisconsin workers’ rights are being restored with a circuit court ruling that Gov. Walker’s anti-union Right to Work law is unconstitutional. On Friday, April 8, 2016, the court 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 has always been unjust, now it’s been proven unconstitutional as well. 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.
Restoring the full right of working people to have a meaningful voice in their union to improve wages, better workplace conditions and lift up our middle class is a victory for us all.
The Wisconsin AFL-CIO, together with the United Steelworkers and the Machinists Union, filed a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of Wisconsin’s Right to Work law last year. Our case was argued and presented by Frederick Perillo of the Previant Law Firm. Fred’s work, along with the entire Previant Law Firm’s careful, exceptional and thoughtful legal expertise, gave working people a victory.
This decision is the first time in 70 years that a challenge to a statewide Right to Work law has been sustained in a court.
Judge Foust agreed with the Unions that the Right to Work law forces unions to provide services to non-members who are not required to pay anything for the costs of such representation. The Court calls this situation “the free-rider effect of Act 10 on Wisconsin organized labor.” “Free rider” captures the unfairness of letting some workers “ride the bus” without paying the fare—in this case, their fair share of the costs of their own representation.
We know Scott Walker and his allies will file legal maneuvers to appeal the decision so further litigation may ensue. But make no mistake, we, along with each and every one of you, will continue to fight to advance the rights of working people to have a full and powerful voice in their union so that everyone who gets up and goes to work in the morning can have a shot at the American Dream.
Phil Neuenfeldt, President
Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer