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International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139 v. Schimel

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

July 12, 2017

International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139 and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 420, Plaintiffs-Appellants/Cross-Appellees,
v.
Brad D. Schimel and James R. Scott, Defendants-Appellee /Cross-Appellants.

          Argued June 2, 2017

         Appeals from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. No. 16-CV-590-JPS - J.P. Stadtmueller, Judge.

          Before Flaum, Easterbrook, and Kanne, Circuit Judges.

          Flaum, Circuit Judge.

         The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 139 and Local 420 ("IUOE"), challenged Wisconsin's right-to-work law. The district court determined that this Court's decision upholding Indiana's nearly-identical law, Sweeney v. Pence, 767 F.3d 654 (7th Cir. 2014), controlled in this case, and the court dismissed IUOE's complaint with prejudice. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         I. Background

         A. The Sweeney Decision In 2012, Indiana passed a right-to-work law that prohibits agreements requiring people to:

(1) become or remain a member of a labor organization; [or]
(2) pay dues, fees, assessments, or other charges of any kind or amount to a labor organization as a condition of employment or continuation of employment.

Ind. Code § 22-6-6-8. Union members in Indiana challenged this right-to-work law as preempted by the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA").[1] However, after a comprehensive discussion of the NLRA's legislative history and relevant Supreme Court precedent, this Court determined that the NLRA did not preempt Indiana's right-to-work law, even though that law prohibits the payment of any dues or fees to unions. See Sweeney, 767 F.3d at 661 (The NLRA's "express allowance of state laws prohibiting agreements requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment necessarily permits state laws prohibiting agreements that require employees to pay Representation Fees") (quotation marks omitted); see generally id. at 658-665. We also determined that the enactment of Indiana's law did not effect a taking in violation of the Fifth Amendment: Although the NLRA requires unions to provide fair representation to non-paying members of the bargaining unit, the unions are "justly compensated by federal law's grant to [unions] the right to bargain exclusively with ... employer[s]." Id. at 666.

         B. Wisconsin Act 1

         After Sweeney issued, Wisconsin enacted Act 1, which states:

No person may require, as a condition of obtaining or continuing employment, an individual to do any ...

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