Machinists Local Lodge 1061, United Steelworkers District 2 and the Wisconsin AFL-CIO filed a lawsuit against the state of Wisconsin on Tuesday, the day after Gov. Scott Walker signed the contentious bill into law.
The unions argue that the law results in an unconstitutional taking of their property without just compensation and that enforcing the law would cause them irreparable harm.
A hearing is scheduled for March 19 before Dane County Circuit Judge C. William Foust. Unions are also asking the court to permanently prevent the implementation of the law.
The unions argue that the right-to-work law violates the takings clause of the state Constitution: “The property of no person shall be taken for public use without just compensation therefor.”
Their argument is that the law transfers property from unions to nonmembers to a degree that will cause irreparable injury to the organizations.
The argument is similar to one made by unions suing against Indiana’s right-to-work law a few years ago. The Indiana Supreme Court ruled against that argument, upholding the law. Indiana’s law was also upheld by a U.S. Appeals Court.
Let me ruin the surprise and tell you what’s going to happen… the Dane County judge will issue the injunction. It will be appealed and, eventually, Wisconsin’s right to work law will be upheld, but not before a lot of time and money is spent to prove the obvious. In the interim while the law is enjoined, unions will push hard for long term contracts. The unions know they will eventually lose, but this tactic will give them time to hang onto those dues as long as possible.