Fight for $15: At hearing, unions argue GOP power grab in Wisconsin violates the state constitution

Contact: Sara Lonardo, 202-412-2153 sara.lonardo@seiu.org
Jennifer Owens, 312-218-8785, jennifer.owens@thefightfor15.org

MADISON- Local union leaders along with community supporters, including fast food workers in the Fight for $15 and a Union, appeared in Dane County’s Circuit Court on Monday morning at oral arguments in the first hearing of their lawsuit. They filed a complaint in early February opposing the Republican legislature’s unconstitutional power grab after working people voted to remove Scott Walker from the Governor’s mansion and elect a pro worker Governor.

The plaintiffs, including SEIU Local 1, SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin, individual SEIU member plaintiffs, Milwaukee Area Service and Hospitality Workers Organization (MASH), Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, and the American Federation of Teachers – Wisconsin, worked hard to elect Governor Tony Evers and intend to help preserve the rightful duties and responsibilities of the governorship.

“The purpose of this lawsuit is simple. It’s about the basic rules of democracy” said Ramon Argandona, President of SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin. “The legislature’s actions to take power away from the Governor we just elected were unconstitutional and that’s why we’re continuing with this lawsuit. The citizens of Wisconsin want the power of the governorship permanently restored. We’re here to make sure that gets done.”

The hearing comes after last week’s court decision in a different case that the entire lame duck session was unconstitutional. The unions have vowed to keep up their fight to get a ruling that the power grab was unconstitutional.

“We were present in the courtroom today because our votes and our voices matter” said Wanda Lavendar, fast food worker in the Fight for $15 and a Union. “Working people like me want to make sure Wisconsin is a state that wins. That’s why we voted and contributed largely to the election of Gov Evers and we’re not going to give up on this fight until we win.”

Union leaders and members believe that the hearing went well today.

“We are cautiously optimistic that the judge will do the right thing and agree with the unions that the law passed by the legislature and signed by Scott Walker violated the state constitution,” Argandona said. “We were heartened to see that the judge took the case so seriously.”

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