On Thursday, the United States Supreme Court announced that it will hear a case this session that has dangerous implications for public sector unions across the nation.
In Janus vs. AFSCME Council 31, a union critic has challenged the requirement for non-members to pay “fair share” fees, which cover the costs related to representation of members and non-members alike. Federal law requires unions to provide equal representation to workers in collective bargaining units, regardless of whether those workers are members.
The plaintiff in this case is essentially requesting a “right to work” law for all public sector unions across the nation. The request is similar to the Friedrichs case that stalled in 2016 after Justice Scalia died unexpectedly, leaving a deadlocked Court. It is expected that Trump nominee Neal Gorsuch will side with the plaintiff and against unions, raising the spectre of national “right to work” in the public sector.
“‘Right to work’ laws are designed to weaken unions by forcing us to provide services for free,” said Local 150 President-Business Manager James M. Sweeney. “These laws have been pushed by anti-union extremists for decades, and the Supreme Court now has the power to implement this law on a national level.”
We will keep the membership updated on developments with this case.