Of Course They Did

Several unions filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging the constitutionality of a recent Wisconsin law which bans mandatory union dues as a condition of employment.

Because they claim a higher right to the fruits of a man’s labor—his wages—than the man earning those wages has.

According to The Associated Press the unions are arguing that the law violates their constitutional rights because it requires unions to act on behalf of workers who are no longer required to pay union dues.

Of course, this is nonsense. Nothing in the law prevents unions and employers from negotiating contracts exclusively for union members. Nothing in the law requires employers and non-union members to use the unions’ contracts as their own. That employers and non-union members might find the shortcut handy is irrelevant. The employers and non-union members may very well negotiate better contracts than the unions did.

And, of course, the unions have no claim on non-union members’ wages, or anything else of theirs, from those non-members’ negotiations on their own behalf. Federal law, as well as Wisconsin’s law, makes this clear. James Sherk, The Heritage Foundation Senior Policy Analyst in Labor Economics:

Federal law [the National Labor Relations Act ] does not require a union to act as an Exclusive Representative. The choice of whether to be an Exclusive Representative or Member Only remains with the union.

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