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Politics & Government

Court Strikes Down Wisconsin's Right-to-Work Law

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LESLIE PETERSON, FLICKR
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February AFL-CIO Capitol rally.

On Friday, Dane County Circuit Court Judge William Foust agreed with the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, Machinists Local 1061 and United Steelworkers District 2. These unions sued the state after Gov. Walker signed right-to-work into law about a year ago.

Wisconsin's right-to-work law lets workers decide whether or not to pay union dues. The unions insist it unconstitutionally seizes union property by requiring unions to extend benefits to workers who don't pay dues. 

Gov. Walker championed the law, touting it as putting power in the hands of individual workers. Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel promises to appeal Friday's order and predicts he will prevail.

Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca says the ruling is a victory for middle class households whose earning power has eroded under Republican policies.

 Original post from March 11, 2015:

Unions in Wisconsin have filed a lawsuit to stop the implementation of right-to-work legislation.

The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO along with Machinists Local 1061 and United Steelworkers District 2 claim that right-to-work is unconstitutional.

On Monday, Gov. Scott Walker signed the legislation into law prohibiting unions from forcing employees to pay dues. Union advocates say failing to require that all employees pay, leads to situations where people who choose not to become members receive representation for free. Unions have deemed it the “free rider” problem.

Wisconsin’s Attorney General says he’s confident the state’s right-to-work law will be upheld. Federal courts have ruled in favor of similar laws in both Michigan and Indiana.

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