Despite recent labor victories, Wisconsin Supreme Court sends mixed messages by upholding Right to Work legislation

Union supporters remind voters that every Right to Work battleground is different
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(PR NewsChannel) / August 8, 2014 / COLUMBUS, Ohio 

WisconsinCapitolDespite recent union victories around the nation, Right to Work opponents were dealt a blow last week as the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled the controversial legislation constitutional.

The 5-2 ruling upheld the 2011 legislation that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public employees.

“No matter the limitations or ‘burdens’ a legislative enactment places on the collective bargaining process, collective bargaining remains a creation of legislative grace and not constitutional obligation,” wrote Justice Michael Gableman.

With the ruling, union supporters across the nation have renewed their efforts to ensure their states avoid similar results. In Ohio, where the battle still drags on, Right to Work opponents are adamant that the legislation never reaches the courts.

“Every state is different. You can’t rely on the positive outcomes in one state to translate over to another” said Pat Sink, Ohio’s International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 business manager. “That’s why it’s imperative that these measures are defeated before it’s out of the voter’s hands.”

The developments in Wisconsin come just a week after a second lower court In Indiana ruled their state’s Right to Work legislation unconstitutional.

Following a Sept. 5 ruling by Lake Superior Judge John Sedia that found portions of the legislation unconstitutional, the IUOE Local 150 branch submitted a 52-page written argument in March that urged the Indiana Supreme Court to uphold the lower court’s ruling.

With the conflicting outcomes in these two key states, labor supporters in battleground states like Ohio have renewed their efforts to get the word out.

“The more we can get the public on our side, the easier it will be to beat this once and for all,” says Sink. “As long as we keep teaching voters about the dangers behind this type of legislation, we’ll be ahead of the curve.”

Opponents of the recent Ohio “Workplace Freedom” bills contend that the initiative’s true purpose is to kill unions and worker protections, ultimately leading to a weaker middle class.

By stripping workers of their rights and freedoms, business owners would be free to lower worker pay, reduce worker benefits and ignore worker rights.

Whether Republicans utilize “Paycheck Protection,” “Workplace Freedom,” or other Right to Work tactics, opponents have remained dedicated to ensuring the voting public knows the underlying nature behind the GOP’s divisive agenda.

For more information about Right to Work in Ohio, please visit

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SOURCE:  Keep Ohio's Heritage

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