Justices To Weigh Challenge To Public Sector Union Fees

Justices To Weigh Challenge To Public Sector Union Fees

Justices To Weigh Challenge To Public Sector Union Fees

Digital Realty Trust v. Somers - The decision in this case will resolve whether the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 protects whistleblowers who have not reported alleged misconduct to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The court on Thursday agreed to hear a case that could end an important source of funding for unions representing police, teachers and other government employees.

This suit alleges the fees force workers to support unions that are essentially lobbies that don't necessarily share their beliefs. "The union's fight is not my fight", Janus wrote.

Its conservative majority restored, the Supreme Court said Thursday it will return to an issue with the potential to financially cripple Democratic-leaning labor unions that represent government workers. (Twenty-two states allow such arrangements.) Last term, in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, the justices deadlocked 4-4 in a case in which a group of nonunion teachers had asked it to overrule Abood.

With President Donald Trump's appointment of Neil Gorsuch, the court's ruling in the IL case could deal a major blow to public-sector unions nationwide if Gorsuch sides with the conservative justices who were in favor of doing away with the "fair share" fees.

"There's no way for workers to actually ensure that money isn't going to prohibited political activities", he said. Unions tend to support Democrats in elections, although agency fees are not used for political activities.

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Unsurprisingly, that has proven a hard distinction to preserve.

States that have changed laws to weaken unions in recent years have seen drops in union membership. There is little doubt how Janus will come down. Last year, the Supreme Court could not reach a decision in a similar case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. And for that, you can thank Neil Gorsuch.

One can hardly overstate the ramifications of going this route. Twenty-eight states have so-called right-to-work laws under which fees are not required.

Half of the nation's union members work for the public sector, with one in three public-sector employees, or 34.4 percent, represented by unions.

If he wins, it could put a major dent in the ability of public employee unions to collect dues nationwide.

That would be a laudable result even apart from the constitutional concerns with the status quo. The latest appeal is from a state employee in IL. Private-sector labor bargaining is naturally adversarial; unions want higher pay, employers want to pay less. "Unions employ lawyers, economists, expert negotiators and research staff, among others, in their negotiations, contract administration processes and conducting of adjustment of grievances with public-sector employers". The entire system is a farce and has led to inflated compensation packages and budget crises.

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The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) also submitted a legal brief to the court July 10 arguing that unions often use forced union dues to pay for conferences and conventions, where many activities are political in nature.

The union fees case presents the question of whether to overturn a 40-year-old ruling.

If Abood falls, all 50 states should make sure their laws on public-sector unionization don't interfere with this model.

That's what union leaders are aiming to avoid.

AFSCME argues that the Abood precedent should be maintained, because it prevents "free riders" from getting the benefits of union contracts without paying for them. Public employment must never be conditioned on support for a political organization.

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