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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. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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