Limit on Public Sector Unions Is Voided
By MONICA DAVEY, The New York Times
A federal judge concluded on Friday that parts of a law limiting public sector unions in Wisconsin — the law that started a political battle between Republican officials and labor leaders in the state a year ago — violate the Constitution.
The opinion of Judge William M. Conley, of the Western District of Wisconsin, was viewed as a partial victory for labor unions, though the judge also upheld central elements of the law, currently in effect around the state.
In essence, the judge found fault with a portion of the law that requires some public unions — though not public safety-related unions — to hold annual votes by members to remain in existence, and with a provision that bars governments from withholding a worker’s union dues, both measures that labor leaders see as efforts to weaken unions. So long as the state sets no such rule for public safety unions, like those that include police officers and firefighters, “there is no rational basis to deny those rights,” to the other public worker unions, the judge found ... more