The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled against
public employee unions that represent workers for the city of
Madison and Dane County.
In January 2013, the same court ruled against other unions,
including the Wisconsin Education Association Council, in another
case that raised similar objections.
The controversial law, called Act 10, triggered an unsuccessful
effort to recall the state's Republican Governor, Scott Walker. The
legislation prevents public sector workers, known as "general
employees," from collective bargaining on issues other than base
wages, imposes tough recertification requirements and bars employers
from automatically deducting union dues from paychecks.
The unions raised several constitutional objections, including that
the law violates their right to petition the government and their
right to free association under the First Amendment.
The court said there is no legal precedent saying the right to
petition gives unions a constitutional right to collective
bargaining. Likewise, Judge Joel Flaum wrote in the majority
opinion, unions do not have a free association right to engage in
[to top of second column]
"The unions cannot wield the First Amendment to force Wisconsin to
engage in a dialogue or continue the state's previous policies,"
The case is Laborers Local 236 v. Walker, 7th U.S. Circuit Court of
(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; editing by Mohammad Zargham)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.