Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Appeals Court Overturns Milwaukee County Labor Ordinance

The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce on Monday won its five-year fight to overturn an ordinance that forced certain county service providers to enter into labor peace agreements at the request of any union seeking to organize their employees.

See the MMAC release

In a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, Milwaukee County's "Labor Peace Ordinance" was found to be pre-empted by the National Labor Relations Act and declared unconstitutional and unenforceable.

In the ruling, the court said "a labor-peace agreement is as likely to increase as to decrease work stoppages, a consequence manifestly inconsistent with an employer's legitimate concern with avoiding stoppages. The labor-peace agreement could be complied with yet a stoppage occur anyway after the employer's workforce had been unionized. Indeed, by making it easier for unions to organize, Chapter 31 [the ordinance in question] is calculated to result in more contractors' workforces being unionized and if this happens there will be an increased risk of strikes—not in the organizing phase but later, when the union is pressing for a collective bargaining agreement or complaining of unfair labor practices."

Read the ruling

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker said the appeals court ruling was "welcome news."

He said the ordinance was "yet another example of the roadblocks that [the Ament] administration put in front of job creation and growth in Milwaukee County."

See Walker's statement

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