The National Right to Work Foundation filed a legal brief Tuesday in response to a union lawsuit against Wisconsin’s ban on forced unionization.
In March, after two weeks of fierce debate from lawmakers in the state legislature, Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, signed into law a statewide ban of mandatory union dues or fees as a condition of employment. The move made Wisconsin the 25th state to adopt such a policy.
Not long after, the International Association of Machinists (IAM) filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law.
“Wisconsin’s Right to Work law was a victory for workplace freedom, but union officials have never relinquished their forced-dues privileges without a fight,” Mark Mix, president of the Foundation, said in a statement. “Fortunately, our staff attorneys have a great deal of experience defending state Right to Work laws in court.”
“We encourage any Wisconsin employees who wish to assert their new workplace rights to contact the National Right to Work Foundation today for free legal assistance,” Mix added.
IAM, with support from the Wisconsin AFL-CIO and United Steelworkers District 2, argued in its lawsuit that the law is unconstitutional because it “deprives the unions of their property without just compensation by prohibiting the unions from charging non-members who refuse to pay for representative services which unions continue to be obligated to provide.”
The argument has been used before by organized labor. However several labor experts, such as James Sherk at the Heritage Foundation, note the argument is very misleading. Though unions are required to represent everyone if they file to be an Exclusive Representative for a workplace, they can choice to be a Member Only union which means they only have to represent dues paying members.
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