Question: What did you think of Judge William Foust’s ruling early this month striking down Wisconsin’s right-to-work law?
John Schulze, director of legal and government affairs at the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin: Watching right to work go through the legal system is like watching a Lifetime Movie of the week – a drawn out struggle, but everyone knows in the end Meredith Baxter Birney will find redemption. The Wisconsin Supreme Court will overrule Judge Foust’s decision. The only interesting unknown is whether any union contractors will negotiate contract extensions to extend union security clauses.
Terry McGowan, president and business manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139: Of course I feel that was the right decision. It is bad enough that government should interfere with the relationship between employers and its workers, it is another thing for the government to make it a law that you provide a service without just compensation. Who wants to do that?
Dan Bukiewicz, president of the Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades Council: It was a just decision. Why should people be able to use the services of bargaining and representation, for free, without having to provide any compensation to those providing them. Any contracts negotiated under the new order will be subject to the laws currently in effect. Either side may wish to renegotiate – it is up to the organizations. I am sure they will do what is best for their organizations.
Robert Dennik, vice president of VJS Construction Services: When I saw this order, it bothered me that another Dane County Judge legislates from the bench. What they forget is what the Legislature gives the Legislature can take away. I believe RTW will prevail and the unions may try to renegotiate but you need to have a willing partner to negotiate with for contacts. I have a feeling that we have not heard the last of this issue.