Union leaders praise Wisconsin courts for Right to Work reversal

Ohio unions react to circuit court ruling declaring 2015 law unconstitutional
(PR NewsChannel) / April 26, 2016 / MADISON, Wis. 

Labor supporters in unionsWisconsin were given a reason to celebrate last week when a Circuit Court judge in Dane County entered a final order declaring the state’s controversial Right to Work law unconstitutional. It’s a move that has drawn praise beyond the borders of “The Badger State.”

“Despite the recent labor onslaught brought on by the Walker administration, it is great to see that Wisconsin still has leaders that understand the issues facing union workers and most importantly, are willing to stand up for them,” said Rick Dalton, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 in neighboring Ohio. “We couldn’t be happier with the court’s decision and we’re optimistic about where the issue will go from here.”

This is just the most recent development in what has been a long battle between labor unions and conservative politicians. Since republican Scott Walker has taken office in 2010, Wisconsin has been in a constant back and forth battle regarding Right to Work proposals.

The latest law, which was passed just last year, has been a major issue in Wisconsin politics.

When the bill was originally passed in March of 2015 it came as a surprise because it changed nearly fifty years of labor law in the state. For most of its history Wisconsin has been very sympathetic towards labor unions and consistently recognized the positive impact collective bargaining rights had on the state’s economy.

In order to overturn the law, the Wisconsin chapter of the AFL-CIO issued a lawsuit against the state the day after Governor Walker signed the bill. After Dane County Circuit Court Judge William Foust found the law to be unconstitutional, Wisconsin AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Stephanie Bloomingdale stated that “restoring the full right of working people to have a meaningful voice in their union to improve wages, better workplace conditions and lift up our middle class is a victory for us all.”

Despite the victory for labor unions, attorneys for the state of Wisconsin are already preparing to challenge the ruling. Speaking on the next step of the legal battle Governor Scott Walker stated his administration feels “confident that ultimately through the appeals process that this will be upheld.”

Dalton on the other hand, is optimistic that the courts will solidify Judge Foust’s reversal.

“The Circuit Court has given labor supporters hope that despite the efforts of big business, Wisconsin will continue to be a state that recognizes labor unions as the backbone of the middle-class economy,” said Dalton.

Right to Work laws, legislation that cripples labor unions by allowing individuals to opt out of joining a labor union despite working in the same industry, have been enacted in several states across the nation. Those who stand against Right to Work laws claim that once they are enacted workers tend to see lower wages and less economic freedom.

For more information on Right to Work in Ohio, visit: http://protectohiosmiddleclass.org/

Direct link:  https://prnewschannel.com/2016/04/26/union-leaders-praise-wisconsin-courts-for-right-to-work-reversal/

SOURCE:  Keep Ohio's Heritage

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