October 16, 2017

Major labor case before the Supreme Court

Governing - The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will add a case critical to the future of public-sector unions to its docket. With President Donald Trump's appointment of conservative-leaning Justice Neil Gorsuch, many expect the court to rule against the unions.

Such a decision would energize the recent resurgence of state laws that effectively reduce the power of unions in both the public and private sector. Expecting the worst, unions are already preparing for a potential exodus of members and a loss of revenue.

Illinois is currently one of 22 states where nonunion members still have to pay so-called agency fees to unions that negotiate on their behalf.

If the Supreme Court rules that making agency fees mandatory is unconstitutional, unions in those states fear the loss of revenue from existing nonunion members and the loss of more members, who could quit unions if granted the right to avoid the paycheck deduction. Such a scenario would weaken unions' bargaining power and their political clout.

Public-sector union membership has already been on the decline. Between 2000 and 2016, it dropped about 8 percent, to 34.4 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Still, that's far greater than in the private sector where only 6.5 percent of employees belonged to a union in 2016, according to the BLS.

The shrinkage of unions can partially be attributed to the recent rise of "right-to-work" laws, which prohibit unions -- private or public sector, depending on the state -- from forcing people to pay dues. Of the 28 states that have passed right-to-work laws, six did it in the last five years. (Most of the rest passed this legislation in the 1940s and 1950s.) In general, the states with the lowest union membership have right-to-work laws.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anyone who knows some of true history knows that democracy from democratic instutions
Is mostly non existant. The history that made half the world communist in the past will be repeated into the future in some fashion. Look for global third world economics and chaos , a dark age of sorts, a regression.