The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, May 06, 2016

Wisconsin RTW law still nullified

By The Building Tradesman

A Dane County Circuit Court Judge struck down the Wisconsin right-to-work law on April 8, and on April 25, the same judge denied the state Department of Justice's request to stay his order deeming the law unconstitutional.

Judge William Faust continued to argue that the harm to unions who must represent non-dues-paying employees outweighs the harm to those employees who will be required to pay dues for representation.

"We are disappointed our motion for stay in the right-to-work case was denied in Dane County Circuit Court and plan to seek a stay in the Court of Appeals, where we feel confident this law will be upheld," said Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel in a statement.

Michigan's Legislature adopted right-to-work in December 2012, and Wisconsin became the 25th state to do so in March 2015. Right-to-work allows workers to enjoy the benefits of union representation, without paying dues.

As we reported in our last issue, Judge Faust wrote in his ruling about the inequity brought about by right-to-work: “a free-rider problem is born — the ability of non-members to refuse to pay for something unions are compelled to provide by law.”

It is widely expected that the conservative-leaning Wisconsin Supreme Court will eventually uphold the state's RTW law, but there is widespread anticipation that when a case challenging right-to-work reaches the U.S. Supreme Court, a new liberal majority could quash the anti-union laws nationwide.