In a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Samuel Alito, the court created a new class of employee called a “partial public employee” and ruled that they could not be compelled to contribute union dues.
This is a ‘splitting the baby’ decision that doesn’t gut union membership but certainly hobbles it.(Crooks & Liars)
In essence, what Harris did was hobble what’s known as the ‘free rider provision’ of federal labor law; under current law prior to today’s decision, all employees in a workplace – regardless of whether or not they were members of a union or not – were required to pay some dues to the representative union in their workplace in exchange for the benefit of having union representation regardless of whether they themselves were members. Unless I’m reading this decision wrong – and sometimes with the High Court its’ hard to tell at times – this case effectively gives union opponents a wedge that they can now drive into numerous workplaces, both public & private, in the hope of breaking, bit by bit, the idea of collective bargaining within the workplace.