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10 First Amend. L. Rev. 652 (2011-2012)
The Lost Democratic Institution of Petitioning: Public Employee Collective Bargaining as a Constitutional Right

handle is hein.journals/falr10 and id is 658 raw text is: THE LOST DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTION OF
PETITIONING:
PUBLIC EMPLOYEE COLLECTIVE
BARGAINING AS A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT
Catherine Phillips*
INTRODUCTION
Public sector labor unions learned a difficult lesson this past
year: what the legislature giveth, the legislature may taketh away.
Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana all passed legislation significantly
curtailing or eliminating collective bargaining rights for public sector
unions. State legislatures in nearly half of the remaining states are
considering similar legislation, threatening the rights of public sector
workers across the nation to engage in a core union activity: bargaining
with the employer on behalf of workers.2 This sweeping anti-union
legislative campaign suggests it may be time for the labor movement to
*Juris Doctor Candidate, University of North Carolina School of Law, 2013.
1. J. Res. 11, 100th Leg., Spec. Sess. (Wis. 2011), 2011 Wis. Act 10; H. Res.
101, 117th Gen. Assemb., 1st Reg. Sess. (Ind. 2011) (enacted); S. 5, 129th Gen.
Assemb., (Ohio 2011); See also, Richard A. Oppel, Jr., Wisconsin Assembly Passes
Anti-Union Bill as Senate Democrats Stay Away, N.Y. TIMES, February 26, 2011 at
Al 2; Richard Simon, Anti-Union Push Gains Steam Nationwide, L.A. TIMES, Apr. 2,
2011, http://articles.latimes.com/2011 /apr/02/nation/la-na-unions-20110402.
2. Simon, supra note 1. Additional anti-union legislation was also being
considered nationwide, even measures that had little to do with cost cutting. See,
e.g., John Miller, Judge Blocks New Anti-Union Idaho Law, ASSOCIATED PRESS, July
5, 2011, http://www.idahopress.com/news/judge-blocks-new-anti-union-law/article
10753b2e-a791-11 eO-880d-001cc4cOO2e0.html. This legislation, which the judge
found was pre-empted by federal law and thus invalid, sought to end a union practice
of supplementing members' wages in order to win government contracts by out
bidding competitors. Id. Thus, the rash of anti-union legislation is arguably about
more than just cost cutting. See Simon, supra note 1 ([I]t's not just budgetary
concerns driving Republican officeholders to take on unions, traditionally a strong
Democratic ally.).

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