News Release

Federal Court Upholds Wisconsin Governor’s Public-Sector Unionism Reforms

Workers asked court to uphold reform measure protecting most Badger State public workers from forced unionism

Chicago, IL (January 18, 2013) – Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld all of Governor Scott Walker’s public-sector unionism reform measures, also known as "Act 10."

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, three Wisconsin public employees moved to intervene in the lawsuit in favor of the law after lawyers from seven unions, led by the Wisconsin Education Association Council, challenged it in federal court. The three civil servants, Pleasant Prairie teacher Kristi Lacroix, Waukesha high school teacher Nathan Berish, and trust fund specialist at the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds Ricardo Cruz, were permitted to file amicus briefs in the district court.

Union lawyers sought to strike down the law’s annual union recertification requirements, ban on the use of taxpayer funded-payroll systems to collect union dues, new limits on the scope of what union officials can demand in contract negotiations, and a provision that granted most of Wisconsin’s public employees Right to Work protections.

Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation, released the following statement in regards to the court’s decision:

"The appellate court upheld all of 'Act 10' as constitutional. The court relied on principles established in Foundation-supported U.S. Supreme Court victories which have held that union bosses have no constitutional power to force workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, or constitutional right to use government resources to deduct union dues or fees from workers’ paychecks.

"The court’s decision strikes a mighty blow for individual workers who do not want anything to do with an unwanted union in their workplace. Unfortunately for Wisconsin government union bosses, the constitutionality of Right to Work laws has long been a settled question. We’re happy to report that the court rejected the union lawyers’ frivolous arguments and ensured that thousands of Wisconsin’s civil servants will continue to labor free from union coercion.

"No Wisconsin public worker should ever be forced to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. Now it is time for Wisconsin's legislature to protect that right for Wisconsin’s private-sector workers and pass a private-sector Right to Work law."

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

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