June 27, 2018

Supreme Court damages the country again

NY Times - The Supreme Court on Wednesday dealt a major blow to organized labor. By a 5-to-4 vote, with the more conservative justices in the majority, the court ruled that government workers who choose not to join unions may not be required to help pay for collective bargaining.

The ruling means that public-sector unions across the nation, already under political pressure, could lose tens of millions of dollars and see their effectiveness diminished.

The court based its ruling on the First Amendment, saying that requiring payments to unions that negotiate with the government forces workers to endorse political messages that may be at odds with their beliefs.

Unions say that reasoning is flawed. Nonmembers are already entitled to refunds of payments spent on political activities, like advertising to support a political candidate.

Collective bargaining is different, the unions say, and workers should not be free to reap the benefits of such bargaining without paying their fair share of the costs.

The decision could encourage many workers perfectly happy with their unions’ work to make the economically rational decision to opt out of paying for it.

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