Supreme Court deals big setback to labor unions
The Supreme Court says government workers can’t be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining, dealing a serious financial blow to organized labor.
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The justices are scrapping 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 Wednesday fulfills a longtime wish of conservatives to get rid of the so-called fair share fees that non-members pay to unions in roughly two dozen states.
The outcome could affect more than 5 million government workers.
The King County MLK Labor Union says the Supreme Court’s decision is “another attack by the rich and powerful to rid the system against all American workers.”
Seattle Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda says the court’s decision is a “reminder that certain moneyed interests” that are “threatened by workers and unions” will do whatever they can to “attack them.”
“Make no mistake, the Janus case was an attack on workers, an attack on the democratically-elected institutions, and an attack on the ability to have a collective voice,” she said.
In dissent, Justice Elena Kagan criticized the decision by saying it prevents people from “making important choices about workplace governance. It does so, “by weaponizing the First Amendment, in a way that unleashes judges, now and in the future, to intervene in economic and regulatory policy.”
President Trump praised the ruling in a tweet:
“Big loss for the coffers of the Democrats!”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.