Late last week a federal appeals court upheld Gov. Walker’s union-busting law stripping public employees of their right to collectively bargain. This is a disappointing decision and a step backwards for workers in the state of Wisconsin, but we must continue the fight for all working people and keep up the struggle to restore rights lost in the public sector.
There are two additional court cases working their way through the legal system, each with different legal arguments and strong legal theories on why Gov. Walker’s Act 10 is unconstitutional. The timeline for these court decisions is unknown. It is important to note that these cases may eventually end up in the conservatively dominated Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Currently, the state ruling by Dane County Circuit Court Judge Juan Colas still stands, so the ability to bargain wages, hours, and working conditions, retain payroll deduction and not have annual re-certification votes is still in effect for city, county and school workers.
Regardless of what courts rule, stripping workers of their right to collectively bargain is morally and ethically wrong. In a democracy, workers deserve the right to join together to improve their working conditions. This court decision will not dampen our desire to do what is right for workers in Wisconsin.