Supreme Court deals big setback to labor unions

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that government workers can’t be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining, dealing a serious financial blow to Democratic-leaning organized labor. The court’s conservative majority, re-empowered by Justice Neil Gorsuch, scrapped a 41-year-old decision that had allowed states to require that public employees pay some fees to unions that represent them, even if the workers choose not to join. The 5-4 decision not only will free non-union members in nearly two dozen states from any financial ties to unions, but also could encourage members to stop paying dues for services the court said Wednesday they can get for free. Union leaders said in reaction to the ruling that they expect to suffer some loss of revenue and also predicted that the same anti-union forces that pushed to get rid of the so-called fair shares that non-members had to pay will try to persuade members to cut their ties. “There are already plans,” said Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association. “They are going after our members.” But American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said unions would not be dissuaded: “Don’t count us out.” The labor leaders spoke after the court ruled that the laws requiring fair share fees violate the First Amendment by compelling workers to support unions they may disagree with. “States and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employees,” Justice Samuel Alito said in his majority opinion in the latest case in which Gorsuch, an appointee of President Donald Trump, provided a key fifth vote for a conservative outcome. Trump himself tweeted his approval of the decision while Alito still was reading a summary of it from the bench. “Big loss for the coffers of the Democrats!” Trump said in the tweet. The court’s majority said public-sector unions aren’t entitled to any money from employees without their consent.

YES!!!!!   It’s about time!!  Excellent decision by the Supremes today!!     🙂

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