The Wisconsin Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the state’s right-to-work law was constitutional and ordered a district court to dismiss a union lawsuit on Tuesday.
The three-judge panel effectively ended a suit from a coalition of the state’s largest labor unions seeking to block the 2015 law, known as Act 1, from taking effect. The Court said the unions failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the law, which prohibits companies from mandating union membership as a condition of employment, violated the state Constitution by unlawfully denying them property without compensation.
“Act 1 does not take property within the meaning of the Wisconsin Constitution. … The Unions have no constitutional entitlement to the fees of non-member employees,” the ruling says.
The Wisconsin state AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers District 2, and International Association of Machinists (IAM) District 10, as well as IAM Lodge 1061, argued the law would force them to continue representing workers who stopped paying dues. A district court judge agreed the law would create a “free rider” problem for the unions because federal law requires them to continue providing representation services to workers in a bargaining unit regardless of membership status. The Court of Appeals rejected the argument, concluding, “no property interest has been taken.” It directed the lower court to dismiss the suit.
Read more at The Washington Free Beacon.