Supreme Court Whittles Away At Public Sector Unions In 5-4 Decision   2 comments

On the whole, this decision in Harris v. Quinn could’ve been a lot worse for public-sector unions:

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.

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2 responses to “Supreme Court Whittles Away At Public Sector Unions In 5-4 Decision

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  1. This was a good decision, but a very narrow one that will likely have very little consequence over public employee unions. It only affected non-government employees who were reaping none of the supposed benefits that public employee unions have been getting for true public employees. It was just an extortion of funds for the far left in Illinois. I wish it had gone further, though. I think public employee unions should be abolished. You should not need “protection” against a government employer. They are supposed to follow fair employment practices. All these Unions do is create a slush fund for left wing causes, and insure eventual bankruptcy of locals governments due to excessively lavish pensions.

    • Agree & disagree, Bob. On the one hand, this was a narrow decision…but even Justice Alito hinted that he could’ve gone further in his ruling. On the other hand…as I said in the post above, this ruling puts a cudgel into the workplace in that, by prohibiting the collection of union dues from non-union employees, it makes it easier for anti-union advocated to divide and conquer the workplace by arguing that one shouldn’t have to pay any dues whatsoever but yet still get the representation and bargaining advantage that a union offers. I mean, think about it a moment…if you’re a public sector employee and you’re no longer subject to the dues requirement under Harris, how long do you think it’ll be before said employee wonders, “well, if I don’t to have to pay dues anymore to the union, why should they represent me?”

      As for the idea that we should abolish public-sector unions…I’m going to paraphrase a quote AG Holder and say, “Don’t go there, buddy.” Public-sector workers have just as much of a right to collective bargaining as their private-sector counterpart and to call for their abolition…well, those are fighting words to this progressive!

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