Union boss suit pushes dubious legal theory that would end Right to Work protections for workers nationwide
Madison, WI (July 19, 2016) – National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys have filed an amicus curiae brief in International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139 & 420 (IUOE) v. Schimel, a federal lawsuit that challenges Wisconsin’s Right to Work law. The brief is on behalf of five workers, all of whom work in a unionized workplace and support Right to Work and would be forced to pay union fees or be fired, if Wisconsin’s Right to Work law were struck down.
The brief supports the state’s opposition to the unions’ preliminary injunction request and the state’s motion for judgment on the pleadings which would dismiss the lawsuit. The brief was filed in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
The brief notes that Right to Work laws have withstood intense legal scrutiny for over 60 years, having never been struck down by a federal court or a state appellate court. Responding to union lawyers’ dubious claim that Right to Work laws unconstitutionally force union officials to “represent” nonunion employees without compensation, the brief notes that the National Labor Relations Act compensates unions by granting them immense workplace power to impose a one-size-fits-all union contract on all employees – union and nonunion alike – in a union-controlled bargaining unit.
The brief also points out that the union lawyers’ argument has already been rejected by a Federal Court of Appeals and the Indiana Supreme Court.
“IUOE bosses are asking a United States District Court to reject over 60 years of legal precedent,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Wisconsin’s Right to Work law should not be overturned on the basis of an outrageous and rejected legal theory advanced by union lawyers, who are attempting to create a constitutional ‘right’ for union bosses to extort money from workers forced to accept unions’ so-called representation.”
Foundation staff attorneys are also involved in dozens of cases defending and enforcing newly-enacted Right to Work laws in Indiana, Michigan, and West Virginia.