Court Decides Scott Walker’s ‘Right-To-Work’ Law Is Unconstitutional

Wisconsin’s “right-to-work” law was determined to be unconstitutional on Friday by Dane County judge William Foust.

The Associated Press reports:

Three unions filed the lawsuit last year shortly after Walker signed the bill into law. Right-to-work laws prohibit businesses and unions from reaching agreements that require all workers, not just union members, to pay union dues. Twenty-four other states have such laws.

The unions argued that Wisconsin’s law was an unconstitutional seizure of union property since unions now must extend benefits to workers who don’t pay dues. Dane County Circuit Judge William Foust agreed.

He said the law amounts to an unconstitutional governmental taking of union funds without compensation since under the law unions must represent people who don’t pay dues. That presents an existential threat to unions, Foust wrote.

Wisconsin’s Attorney General Brad Schimel said that the state plans on appealing the decision. Schimel released a statement where he said:

“We are extremely disappointed that the Dane County Circuit Court struck down Wisconsin’s right-to-work law, but we are confident the law will be upheld on appeal.”

The ruling is great news for organized labor who have been fighting the anti-labor law. Phil Neuenfeldt, the president of Wisconsin AFL-CIO released a statement where he said:

“Today, the courts put a needed check on Scott Walker’s attacks on working families by ruling that Wisconsin’s Right to Work law is in violation of our state constitution… Right to Work goes against the Wisconsin principles of fairness and democracy and hurts all of Wisconsin by eroding the strength of our middle class. Right to Work has always been unjust, now it’s proven unconstitutional.”

Republicans have done everything in their power to dismantle organized labor, helping to ensure the complete annihilation of the middle class. This court decision is a sign that resistance to the hegemony of neoliberalist policy is not futile. The de-industrialization of the United States has wrought havoc on the middle and working class.  As a new movement that demands that labor is respected in our economy grows, we must look at these victories and view them as a taste of the good things that happen when the left fights back.


Featured image from (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)