Labor groups brace for long legal fight over controversial Wisconsin Right to Work law

Appellate judge temporarily reinstates law after lower court strikes down Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial Right to Work law Case will now go to full state appeals court
(PR NewsChannel) / June 7, 2016 / MADISON, Wis. 

WisconsinCapitolOnly one month after Dane County Judge William Foust of Wisconsin ruled Governor Scott Walker’s Right to Work law unconstitutional, the controversial law has been reinstated by a state appeals judge. Luckily for labor supporters, union leaders in the state are still fighting back.

Late last month, Judge Lisa Stark, the presiding judge for the District 3 Court of Appeals in Wausau, granted Attorney General Brad Schimel’s request to reinstate the law while the appeals court decides on its constitutionality

Less than a week before the announcement two local units of the International Union of Operating Engineers filed suit in federal court against Attorney General Schimel and Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission chairperson James R. Scott, claiming the law violates the National Labor Relations Act.

Since the reversal is only temporary, labor leaders are preparing for a long battle.

“Even though it’s temporary, the reversal is disheartening. But we are fighting hard to combat the law and that has kept the community optimistic,” said Rick Dalton, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 in Ohio. “There are multiple suits pending against the law and we’re optimistic that ultimately it will be found to be unconstitutional.”

This court’s recent reversal is just another development in a year long struggle between the Governor’s office and labor organizations

When Gov. Walker signed the Right to Work legislation into law last year, a public opinion and legal firestorm kicked off. Almost immediately, the Wisconsin chapter of the AFL-CIO issued a lawsuit against the state over the constitutionality of the law.

In April, a lower court ruled in the labor union’s favor by declaring the Right to Work Law unconstitutional. When the higher court reversed this decision, labor leaders were understandably upset.

Labor unions have argued that whenever a Right to Work law is enacted in the United States, workers tend to see their wages diminish. So far there are 25 states that have passed Right to Work legislation into law.

“Any time that Right to Work is enacted worker rights and wages are negatively impacted for hard working men and women,” says Dalton. “That’s why we continue to fight whenever the issue threatens to rear its head.”

For more information on Right to Work in Ohio, visit:

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SOURCE:  Keep Ohio's Heritage

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