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Intro: "One day after the state Supreme Court cleared the way for Gov. Scott Walker's controversial bill limiting collective bargaining to become law, several labor organizations filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday in an effort to prevent some of its provisions from taking effect in federal court."

Demonstrators gathered in the Capitol rotunda in Madison, Wisconsin, 03/10/11. (photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Demonstrators gathered in the Capitol rotunda in Madison, Wisconsin, 03/10/11. (photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)



Labor Groups File Suit to Block Parts of Collective Bargaining Law

By Sandy Cullen, Wisconsin State Journal

16 June 11


RSN Special Coverage: GOP's War on American Labor

 

ne day after the state Supreme Court cleared the way for Gov. Scott Walker's controversial bill limiting collective bargaining to become law, several labor organizations filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday in an effort to prevent some of its provisions from taking effect in federal court.

The groups are challenging the constitutionality of the bill they say would destroy collective bargaining rights for all but a select group of public sector workers deemed "public safety" employees, including certain firefighters and law enforcement officers.

"Scott Walker has created two classes of public sector workers, and that is unconstitutional," Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt said in a statement. "When a legislature discriminates among classes of workers, especially when doing so has more to do with political payback than with any legitimate reasoning, the law has been violated."

The lawsuit also claims the bill violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the US Constitution by eliminating basic rights of public employees to bargain, organize and associate for the purpose of engaging in union activity - rights that have been in place for the last half century.

According to the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, the lawsuit only seeks to preserve the right to bargain and freely associate and does not seek to prevent the increased pension and health insurance contribution requirements that are included in the law.

The lawsuit was brought by the Wisconsin Education Association Council, Wisconsin State Employees Union, Wisconsin Council of County and Municipal Employees, AFSCME District Council 48 representing Milwaukee County municipal employees, AFT-Wisconsin, SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. In addition to Walker, it names state Department of Administration Secretary Michael Huebsch, Office of State Employee Relations Director Gregory L. Gracz and members of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission.

Unlike the state lawsuit the Supreme Court dismissed this week, the federal case does not seek to prevent Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the law, the last step before it can take effect. La Follette said Wednesday that he plans to publish the law on June 28 unless a federal judge orders him not to.

Walker responded to the suit saying, "I think overwhelmingly the people of the state feel the legal action is done and it's time to move forward."

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+7 # Reductio Ad Absurdum 2011-06-16 12:03
QUOTE:

"Walker responded to the suit saying, 'I think overwhelmingly the people of the state feel the legal action is done and it's time to move forward.'"

TRANSLATION:

"Overwhelmingly the people of the state KNOW WHAT ILLEGAL action has been perpetrated to take the state BACKWARDS, and Walker is trying to run from the scene of the crime as fast as possible before they can undo it."

This is a re-do of the appointment of W. Bush to the presidency by the United States Supreme Court — the political shock-and-awe hit-and-run the Republicans love to use, hoping the voters will just suck on it while the Republicans feed them new lies to prep them for the next diabolical shock wave the Republicans have waiting up their sleeves.
 
 
+4 # dsmith 2011-06-16 12:14
Wisconsinites, please let us know if the "overwhelming majority" of you agree with your Governor.
 
 
+1 # conniejo 2011-06-21 12:35
No way! Although Walker remains popular among some Republicans, the "overwhelming majority of Democrats AND of independents do not agree with him. Polls still show he would lose if the election were held today. And there are plenty of people who walked the protest lines with signs saying "I voted for him and I'm sorry!" The fight to recover from our complacency will take time, but we will carry it through until we can undo the damage Walker and his allies have wrought: take back the Senate this summer, recall Walker in January/Februar y, recapture the Assembly in November 2012. If you don't see us in the streets as one large crowd, look more closely and you will see us in the streets going door to door to prepare for the recall elections. As is happening at the national level, much of Walker's agenda is to reward corporate donors (e.g., forcing our microbrewers to sell through distributors as the big brewers do) while some just seems to be gratuitous harm (making males no longer eligible for Badgercare), punishment for being poor, I guess. As long as we continue to believe we have the power to change things, we DO have that power. But we must be relentless in exercising it. On Wisconsin!!!
 
 
+7 # Bruce Fetter 2011-06-16 13:51
Of course we don't. As a retired professor, I've never had bargaining rights but think that state employees should have them.

I just hope that we Badgers remember that collective bargaining is not the only issue Governor Walker has raised. He's disastrous on the environment, plays the sheriff of Nottingham on taxes, contraception.
 

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