Dane County Court House with a view to Wisconsin Capitol. Photo: Richard Hurd
Workers win in Wisconsin
Hat-tip to Unite Assistant General Secretary Tony Burke, whose excellent Power in a Union blog alerted me on Friday to the latest workers’ victory in the long-running dispute over Wisconsin state employees’ bargaining rights. Dane County Circuit Court Judge Juan Colas struck down the Wisconsin law (Act 10) that eliminated public employee collective bargaining rights, returning such rights immediately to teachers and local authority workers (but not yet state-level employees).
He said that the law violated “the rights of those employees who choose union membership”, as well as the rights of free speech and freedom of association. State Republicans called the judge a “liberal activist” (that’s just slightly to the right of “communist agitator” in their weird world) and declared their intention to appeal…
But this weekend, the unions of Wisconsin and the USA generally are pretty pleased – and so are we!
Phil Neuenfeldt, the President of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, said Friday night:
“As we have said from day one, Scott Walker’s attempt to silence the union men and women of Wisconsin’s public sector was an immoral, unjust and illegal power grab. Now, a court has ruled that the essential provisions of Act 10, Scott Walker’s draconian attack on public worker’s right to collectively bargain, is unconstitutional.”