Sunday, September 16, 2012

Scott Walker's Anti-Collective Bargaining Law Struck Down

A Wisconsin county judge has struck down Gov. Walker's draconian anti-collective bargaining law as a violation of both state and US constitutions. Here's Scott Bauer at HuffPo:

Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled that the law violates both the state and U.S. Constitution and is null and void.

In his 27-page ruling, the judge said sections of the law "single out and encumber the rights of those employees who choose union membership and representation solely because of that association and therefore infringe upon the rights of free speech and association guaranteed by both the Wisconsin and United States Constitutions."

Colas also said the law violates the equal protection clause by creating separate classes of workers who are treated differently and unequally.

The ruling applies to all local public workers affected by the law, including teachers and city and county government employees, but not those who work for the state. They were not a party to the lawsuit, which was brought by a Madison teachers union and a Milwaukee public workers union.

Walker issued a statement accusing the judge of being a "liberal activist" who "wants to go backwards and take away the lawmaking responsibilities of the legislature and the governor. We are confident that the state will ultimately prevail in the appeals process."

It is good to see Walker brought up short, even if only temporarily. An appeal is planned. Let the judge-shopping begin.

AFTERTHOUGHT: the right to bargain collectively by forming unions is central to achieving fairness in employer treatment of workers. This is no less true of public employees. As it has been repeatedly shown that quality and productivity rest squarely on fair worker compensation and working conditions, I am forever mystified that some "conservatives" demand the most unequal possible relationship between management and labor. Forcing workers into effective wage slavery by denying their bargaining rights is not just wrong... it's also stupid beyond words. In other words, it's Republican.

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