Calling the measures illegal, public and private unions want a federal judge to void two new laws they say interfere with the rights of their members.

SB 1363, which takes effect July 20, imposes new restrictions on when and where unions can picket. Attorneys for the unions say that violates their rights of free speech and assembly.

A separate law, SB 1365, will require unions to get specific authorization from each worker, on an annual basis, for any payroll deductions for political purposes. The lawsuit says that interferes with the contracts that unions have with their members.

The unions want Judge Susan Bolton to bar the state from enforcing either law.

But Sen. Frank Antenori, R-Tucson, the sponsor of both measures, said they are both necessary and legal.

Antenori also disputed claims about how broad is the scope of the new restrictions on picketing. But he said if the state has gone beyond its authority, a judge will rule that way and the law can be fixed next year.

SB 1363 is the broader of the measures.

There already are some existing laws that limit picketing. But Antenori said they are ineffective.

For example, he said it is often difficult for companies to keep picketers off private property. This law allows a company to file legal papers ahead of time spelling out where their property lines are and, by extension, giving police clear authority to remove anyone who crosses that.

But what is causing a stir is that some of the restrictions would appear to affect those who are protesting on public sidewalks.

For example, one provision makes it illegal to picket in any way to “coerce or induce’’ an employer into joining a union.

Marcus Osborn, lobbyist for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the intent is not to bar “a healthy debate’’ about whether a company should unionize. He said this is aimed at more “aggressive’’ tactics.

Potentially more troubling from the unions’ perspective is another provision outlawing “mass assembly.’’

Some of that includes blocking entrances to work sites and public roads. But it also makes it illegal to “assemble other than in a reasonable and peaceful manner.’’

The union attorneys said some of the picketing they do now might be considered “unreasonable’’ by some, ranging from raised voices or noisemakers, or where certain words are used like “scab’’ to describe a strikebreaker.

“Such provision is likely to have a chilling effect on any assembly of workers as workers would have no way of knowing what a judge would consider ‘unreasonable’ in assembling,’’ the lawsuit states.

“You might have a point there,’’ Antenori conceded.

“But it’s up to the discretion of a judge,’’ he said. And Antenori said there already are court rulings defining what is and is not reasonable.

What is not reasonable, Antenori said, are pickets which defame or libel a company, perhaps saying it is using unfit meat for its products. He said that kind of picketing needs to be stopped.

Antenori acknowledged there are already laws that allow someone who has been defamed to sue. But he said that process can take too much time. And in the interim, a company’s business can be ruined.

The issue of union dues goes to Antenori’s contention that union members are being improperly forced to contribute to causes in which they might not believe. He said that requiring unions to get annual approval for payroll deductions ensures that members get better control of how their unions are spending their funds to influence elections.

But Andrew Morrill, president of the Arizona Education Association, said the measure is all about politics.

He pointed out that Arizona is a “right to work’’ state, meaning no one can be forced to join a union. He said people join the AEA because they support the organization’s goals.

“This bill attempts to quiet the voices of Arizona’s educators as they speak up for their profession, their students and for public education,’’ he said in a prepared statement.

The state has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit. No date has been set for a hearing.

(6) comments

samkat

Len: Who pushed through NAFTA? I seem to recall that the individual was non other than Bill Clinton, the white version of Barack. Now, prove to us that there are not democrats involved in moving jobs offshore. Nancy Pelosi pushed through an exemption that allowed her family to avoid implementing the minimum wage provisions in some of our possessions so they could pay less than the prevailing wages. Check it out if you doubt my comments. Your Nazi comment tells a lot about you. That is a far left slur that is way outdated and racist in itself.

gmansez

It used to be that if a politician was in someone's pocket, they at least tried to keep it hush hush because the voters would be very upset to know the truth.
Now, the left brazenly advertises the fact that they are owned by the unions by taking their side on every issue, attacking any entity that tries to make them fight fair, and filing lawsuits against those entities.
I don't know who wrote this:

"The danger to America is not only Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to

limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to

have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America .

Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a

Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president."

.

NothingButTheTruth

Former Republican, I think the did wake up. As a result the newly awakened voted into office a full slate of republicans that would make the laws that were needed. You sound like a communist to me. Communists love to call people Nazis. Well we are somewhere in between those two radical views. So, what's your views on the Mexican invasion of cheap labor? I'm betting you love it as it helps your marxist agenda. Go somewhere else to practice your brand of slavery on. How about going down to Mexico? They're always in need of a new revolution to save them from the old revolution. We're happy with capitalism here but thanks for showing up.

ratdog

OK former Republican, if you think you can have it both ways, I don't want to hear you complain when illegal Mexican residents take your job away. Are you then going to cry about the constitution? You are like so many left leaning fools. You want to bend the constitution to reflect your desire to to control wages and benefits for Americans while also allowing millions of Mexicans to come here and take jobs Americans could do. The constitution does not provide you the right to use free speech as a means of disruption to a company's business, it allows you to speak freely. If unions are falsley using the constitution to prevent another from exercising their rights to free speech and commerce, then the Union is in violation of the constitution. How would you like it if I show up in front of your house with 100 friends to scream and holler 24 hours a day in the name of free speech just because I want something you have?
So, once the company you work for pays all of the extra money needed to support your union demands, then you will expect the government to take more money from your fat cat company to pay the huge dept and deficit created by illegal Mexican Immigrants and all of the entitilement programs. As your company is forced out of business due to the fact that it can't compete in a global market because of union demands and high taxes to an off shore place where the labor is cheaper, then maybe you will understand that life isn't as simple as you think. You better start thinking of ways to make business profitable so business can hire people at a fair wage right here, and remember it is a global economy.

Lenapelou

Here are more laws passed by the clowns in Phoenix which are clearly unconstitutional. When are the people in Arizona going to wakeup and understand these bills are nothing more than grandstand moves to convince the far right they are doing something when it fact they are wasting time, and money. I have to go back and review history, but this sounds like the Nazi playbook of 1934-1935, as far as union busting is concerned.

Still crying about the loss of those good paying middle class jobs? Your GOP buddies put them in China for $4.25 a DAY. Free trade equals billions for the north Scottsdale set. Oh, by the way, the state is trying to limit and reduce unemployment payments, already one of the lowest in the Nation. I wonder who is supporting that? But you know what, I'm happy because I might be able to carry a firearm into a classroom in the future. Do you have to wonder why people regard this place as a joke!

Former Republican

samkat

The unions are still trying to maintain their strong arm tactics and this is just another ploy. I left a good paying job years ago because the union chose to strike over a 2 cent fringe benefit negotiation. After being out of work for 6 months, I found work elsewhere. The liberal left may support the unions but I think public opinion will be against them.

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