IAM lawsuit seeks to overturn labor reform that freed Wisconsin workers from being forced to pay union dues to keep a job
Dane County, WI (February 25, 2016) – Today, veteran National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorney Milton Chappell will defend Wisconsin’s Right to Work law in Dane County Circuit Court against a lawsuit filed by International Association of Machinist (IAM) union lawyers. Chappell represents four Wisconsin employees who believe they should not be forced to pay union dues to keep a job. The motion to file an amicus curiae (‘friend of the court’) brief was submitted by attorneys from the National Right to Work Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.
Randy Darty, Tod Momberg, Daniel Sarauer, and Daniel Zastrow are all nonunion employees who work in unionized workplaces. All four wish to safeguard their right to refrain from paying dues to unions to which they don’t belong. Prior to enactment of Wisconsin’s Right to Work law, nonunion private-sector employees could be forced to pay union dues to keep a job.
The National Right to Work Foundation has a long history of successfully defending Right to Work laws in state and federal court, most recently in Indiana and Michigan. Foundation attorneys also provided free legal assistance to several Wisconsin civil servants who sought to refrain from paying union dues or fees under Governor Scott Walker's 2011 public-sector labor reforms.
After Wisconsin’s Right to Work law went into effect on March 11, 2015, the National Right to Work Foundation announced an offer of free legal aid to any employees seeking to assert their rights under the new law. The Foundation also created a special task force to defend the Wisconsin law in court from any union legal challenges.
“We are proud to defend Wisconsin’s Right to Work law for the hundreds of thousands of Badger State workers who can no longer be forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Our staff attorneys have a great deal of experience defending state Right to Work laws, and we are confident that this latest union legal gambit will not succeed in undermining Wisconsin employees’ newly-enshrined workplace freedoms.”