Two Wis. employees file brief favoring bargaining reform

Michael P. Tremoglie Jan. 10, 2012, 3:49pm


MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Two Wisconsin public employees have filed an amicus curiae brief supporting Gov. Scott Walker's reform of collective bargaining procedures.

The reform protects the Right to Work for most Wisconsin public workers and bans automatic deductions for union dues.

Christopher King, a social services specialist for Western Wisconsin Cares, and Carie Kendrick, a custodial worker at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, filed the brief Jan. 9 with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin in the case of Laborers Local 236, AFL-CIO et al. v. Scott Walker the National Right to Work Foundation Legal Defense Foundation announced.

The workers declined to be represented by the union. They state in their brief that "they equate the 'services' provided by (union officials) to be akin to those of some itinerant street window washers who sling dirty water on your car windshield, smear it around, and then demand payment."

The workers have asked the court to uphold the new law as constitutional. They are relying on the U.S. Supreme Court case of Davenport v. WEA in which the Court unanimously held that unions enjoy an "extraordinary power" to force workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, but have no constitutional right to use government resources to deduct union dues or fees from workers' paychecks.

"More courageous Wisconsin public servants who want nothing to do with union bosses' so-called 'representation' are coming forward to protect their Right to Work," said Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work. "No worker should be ever be forced to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, which is why Wisconsin should go a step further by passing Right to Work protections to protect all Badger State employees from forced union affiliation."

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