7th Circuit affirms Wisconsin’s limits on unions, Indiana RTW challenge remains

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While still considering a challenge to Indiana’s right-to-work law, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed Wisconsin’s statute limiting the collective bargaining power of some public sector unions.  

The Badger State’s general-employee unions, those organizations that include state and municipal workers who do not hold public safety jobs, challenged Wisconsin’s Act 10 which limited government employers from collectively bargaining with general employees over anything except base wages.

The unions argue, in part, that restrictions created by Act 10 make it difficult for them to represent their members’ interest through the collective-bargaining process. In particular, the union charged their ability to continue to function is impaired partly by the restriction on making non-union workers pay something for the representation they receive, called fair-share agreements.

The prohibition on fair-share agreements were also part of the argument against Indiana’s right-to-work law. In James M. Sweeney v. Mitch E. Daniels, Jr., 13-1264, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 assert the state law provisions that prohibit unions from requiring all employees to pay a “fair share” of the collective bargaining costs violate federal law.

The 7th Circuit has yet to issue an opinion in the Indiana case, but it rejected the arguments from the Wisconsin public sector workers.

“The unions protest that they are an expressive association whose core purpose is to bargain with state employers on their employees’ behalf,” Judge Joel Flaum wrote in Laborers Local 236, AFL-CIO, et al. v. Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin, et al., 13-3193. “By enacting laws that prevent the unions from accomplishing this purpose, the unions argue, Wisconsin has weakened their association to a devastating extent. But that simply is not how the First Amendment works. An organization cannot come up with an associational purpose – even a purpose that involves speech – and then require support from the state in order to realize it goal.”



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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.