Hearing set for next week on unions’ right to work suit

A group of unions argues in a new suit that right-to-work is an unconstitutional taking of their property because it requires them to represent employees who refuse to pay dues, depriving them of the option to be a “members only” union.

Gov. Scott Walker signed right-to-work into law on Monday. A hearing is scheduled for March 19 in Dane County court on the union request for a temporary restraining order.

The suit cites a provision in the Wisconsin Constitution that the “property of no person shall be taken for public use without just compensation.” It also argues right-to-work was passed for a public purpose, citing remarks by lawmakers and the guv that it was done to improve the business climate.

The suit was filed yesterday by the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers District 2 and International Association of Machinists District 10 and its Local Lodge 1061. It seeks a declaration that the law is unconstitutional and an injunction prevented its enforcement.

“We are confident Wisconsin’s freedom-to-work law is constitutional and will be upheld as it has been in federal court,” said Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick.

Read the suit