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Teamsters File Lawsuit to Restore Collective Bargaining Rights for Wisconsin Workers


Teamsters, Labor Allies Challenge Discriminatory Law That Hurts Public Sector Workers

(WASHINGTON) – Today, the Teamsters and a coalition of labor unions filed a lawsuit to restore collective bargaining rights for public sector workers in Wisconsin.

The lawsuit, filed in Dane County Circuit Court, asserts existing Wisconsin law unconstitutionally discriminates against the majority of public sector workers, denying them access to collective bargaining, and forcing workers to recertify their unions every year.

“Thousands of public sector workers in Wisconsin are under attack by their own state government and, just like with all workers in this country, they need as much help as possible to restore and protect their rights and freedoms,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “The Teamsters are demanding an end to the repressive law that has hurt public service workers in Wisconsin so that their collective bargaining rights can be restored and respected.”

Under Wisconsin law Act 10, public sector workers are limited to bargaining over base wages, and do not have the freedom to negotiate with their employers over many working conditions, including safety and health standards, benefits, just cause language, and grievance procedures.

Only certain workers arbitrarily designated by Act 10 as “public safety” employees have the ability to fully bargain. That narrow category excludes many workers who perform public safety functions, as well as other workers who perform demanding jobs necessary for the public welfare. In many Wisconsin towns and counties, this has led to a shortage of workers willing to serve in such roles.

“It’s very simple — Wisconsin’s Act 10 hurts working families. It’s patently unfair to strip public sector workers of their fundamental rights, and it’s time for officials in Wisconsin to right this wrong,” said Bill Carroll, President of Teamsters Joint Council 39. “All workers who are vital to our communities — including those who maintain our roads, and work in courthouses and for municipal public works departments — deserve an equal voice and representation.”

“The Teamsters Union stands shoulder-to-shoulder with our labor allies in the fight to secure collective bargaining rights for all workers. Wisconsin’s public sector workers deserve a seat at the table, to be able to bargain for good wages, benefits, and working conditions,” said Larry Wedan, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 695 in Madison.

Plaintiffs include Teamsters Local 695, Abbotsford Education Association (WEAC/NEA), AFSCME Locals 47 and 1215, Beaver Dam Education Association (WEAC/NEA), SEIU Wisconsin, and Teaching Assistants Association (TAA/AFT) Local 3220.

The Teamsters represent more than 18,000 private and public sector workers with four local unions across Wisconsin.

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.3 million hardworking people in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at