Supreme Court fights over forced public union dues

"Forty years ago in the Abood case the High Court erred by allowing public employees to be forced to pay money to union officials as a condition to working for their own government, and we are hopeful that by the end of the Court's term that injustice will finally be remedied".

Liberal justices asked questions indicating support for maintaining the fees. Without Scalia's vote, the Court deadlocked 4 to 4.

It shouldn't be. Collective bargaining isn't political speech. The Court ruled that agency fees could be separated from the political aspects of a union, but Dewhirst claimed that this distinction has become unworkable.

But John Larson, president of the Oregon Education Association, says he doesn't think the prospects are grim for his union. Kennedy asked union lawyer David Frederick.

Union leaders have described the years-long fight against fair share fees as a political attack launched by wealthy special interests that want to destroy the labor movement.

Dueling groups of protesters gathered outside the white marble courthouse ahead of the scheduled one-hour argument.

Mark Janus, an IL health care employee, has never joined the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union.

"The agency fee is such a core model of the business model of unions that you don't even have to bother asking people to join up", Johnson told Reason.

"I feel ticked off about the impact Janus (court case) could have on our union".


The newest justice holds the deciding vote in a case to be argued February 26 that could affect the financial viability of unions that are major supporters of Democratic candidates and causes.

Around a 100 union members and legislators came to the Capitol on Monday to voice their opposition to the Supreme Court Case (Janus v AFSCME) that will decide the future of mandatory union dues. With the arrival of Scalias replacement, constitutionalist Justice Neil Gorsuch, the days of forced unionism for public employees may be numbered.

Glenn Smith, professor of Constitutional and Public Law at California Western School of Law, spoke about the case on Good Morning San Diego.

Margarita Harrington, a nurse with the San Mateo County Health System, said removing fair-share fees will "squeeze" even large unions like hers, which has 86,000 members.

Jeff Worthington, president of Utah's AFL-CIO, says workers who receive benefits from collective bargaining should pay their fair share for that work.

More than a hundred people loudly demonstrated outside the courthouse.

Supporters of Janus are unsympathetic to that argument. He said he opposes his union's fight for wage and benefit increases when the state is "in pretty bad financial condition right now".

Eric Szopacs of Bethlehem, a certified nursing assistant at Phoebe Home in Allentown and a member of SEIU, said he was standing in solidarity with public-sector union workers because they have a common cause - supporting their families.

Not being able to collect agency fees, that's a big problem for teachers, said OFT's Cropper. The other 27 states allow people the "Right To Work" without unions picking their pockets.


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