Supreme Court takes case posing a threat to unions

Supreme Court takes case posing a threat to unions

As such, non-members receive the same higher wages (one study found that workers in unionized shops enjoy a wage premium of almost 12 percent) and benefits enjoyed by their coworkers who belong to the union.

Virginia's Supreme Court said the case involved what the Supreme Court has called the "automobile exception", which generally allows police to search a vehicle without a warrant if they believe the vehicle contains contraband.

That ruling is now being appealed.

The Supreme Court case does not affect private-sector unions.

It was just over a year ago that the same question was before the court, but the challenge to those mandatory payments was unsuccessful then because there were four progressives on the court who liked the idea of forcing people to fund speech they don't support. Shortly thereafter in March 2016, the Court issued a one-sentence per curiam decision in the Friedrichs case upholding agency shop fee statutes by a deadlocked 4-4 vote, simply stating: "The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court". Lawmakers will have an opportunity to try to override Rauner's veto when they return to Springfield in November, though it is unclear if they'll have the votes to do so.

The case, like two others that have reached the high court in recent years, pits unions, who say mandatory fees are necessary to prevent "free riders" from benefitting from union contracts, against dissenting members, who argue that being forced to pay dues violates their First Amendment rights.

Various members of the court's conservative bloc have been signaling in several decisions since 2012 that they would like to overrule Abood. In K-12 education, teachers' unions collectively bargain to negotiate things like salaries and benefits and class-size caps, which benefit all workers. The foundation also has sued California unions to force changes in compulsory fees, including state government's largest union, Service Employees International Union Local 1000.

Supreme Court takes case posing a threat to unions
Supreme Court takes case posing a threat to unions

Seriously. As for the law, the Justices agreed Thursday to hear Janus v. Afscme, which could become a landmark case on coerced political speech and the First Amendment.

Even when agency fees support basic overhead costs, they can help to subsidize political operations; many unions advocate nonstop throughout the year for numerous causes, many of which have nothing to do with labor law.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a Democrat, and some state unions moved in to counter the lawsuit. Federal workers already are exempt for paying fees if they are not union members.

The Supreme Court begins its new term next week, with Neil Gorsuch seated for his first full term. Twenty-eight states have so-called right-to-work laws under which fees are not required.

According to Fox, "The case has the potential to strike a financial blow against Democratic-leaning unions that represent government workers".

The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the union position in the 1977 case Abood v. Detroit Board of Education.

The appeal in the new case was brought by the Springfield, Va. -based National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and the Chicago-based Liberty Justice Center on behalf of Mark Janus, an employee of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, who has $44.58 deducted from his paycheck every month to cover the collective-bargaining fees of AFSCME. But unions are terrified that given the option, most workers will opt out of paying.