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Wisconsin appeals court upholds state’s right-to-work law

Laurel White

Wisconsin Public Radio

A Wisconsin appeals court has upheld the state’s right-to-work law.

On Tuesday, the state’s 3rd District Court of Appeals overturned a ruling by a Dane County judge last year that found the law was unconstitutional.

Wisconsin's right-to-work law, signed by Gov. Scott Walker in 2015, bans mandatory union dues at private sector businesses. Unions have challenged the law in state and federal courts, arguing it’s unconstitutional to require them to represent members who don’t pay fees to support their organizations.

In its decision, the appeals court wrote the unions didn't prove the law is unconstitutional "beyond a reasonable doubt."

"The unions have no constitutional entitlement to the fees of non-member employees," Judge Mark Seidl wrote in the court’s ruling.

The governor lauded the decision on Tuesday. 

"The purchase of any service should be voluntary and not coerced," Walker said in a prepared statement. "Wisconsin’s Right to Work law protects freedom, not special interests."

A federal court also ruled to uphold the law in July.

Wisconsin Public Radio, © Copyright 2017, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System and Wisconsin Educational Communications Board. Find more WPR news at KUWS-FM 91.3 or wpr.org.

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