MacIver Institute: Desperate unions revive another failed attempt to overturn Act 10

Contact: Chris Rochester,

Healy: “Unions need to realize they can’t force someone to join and they can’t bully taxpayers into submission.”

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin unions just can’t seem to let go of their dead-end quest to undo the most important government reform we have seen in decades – Act 10.

The unions, Operating Engineers of Wisconsin Local 139 and Local 420, see an opportunity to clog up the court system with yet another doomed challenge to Act 10 using the Janus v. AFSCME case in the U.S. Supreme Court as a pretense.

Two other cases brought by unions to bring down Act 10 failed in 2014 when the landmark reform was found constitutional by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

“Unions want the government to force citizens to join their organization because the unions know that if citizens are given the freedom to choose, most will choose to tell the union to leave them alone,” said MacIver Institute President Brett Healy.

The numbers prove it. Following the enactment of worker freedom laws in Wisconsin, overall union membership in Wisconsin has declined from 354,882 members in 2010 to 218,233 in 2016, a drop of 38.5 percent.

The voluntary exodus from unions isn’t stopping their over-the-top rhetoric. “Public employees’ livelihoods have been under attack for seven years under Act 10,” said IUOE Local 420 Business Manager Mark Maierle in a press release.

Act 10 required government employees to pay just 6 percent towards their retirement and 12 percent of their platinum health insurance.

“Only unions would have the audacity to say their rights have been violated because they are now required to regularly ask their members if they want a union,” Healy said.

“These unions are desperately clinging to the hope that somewhere, somehow, a like-minded judge will finally get tired of the endless lawsuits and appeals and just give in,” Healy said. “The highest courts in the state and nation have made it clear: Act 10 is constitutional. Not only is it constitutional, but it’s a taxpayer-friendly reform that has saved hard-working Wisconsinites more than $5 billion and helped our state enjoy budget surpluses for years. More important, Act 10 put taxpayers back in charge of our government,” Healy said.