By Sahid Fawaz
The Janus decision is not a week old and conservative groups are already trying to convince workers to leave their unions.
“The Supreme Court’s recent landmark ruling on union fees was not even a day old when public school teachers in Rochester, New York, received a related email through their work accounts. The subject line read: ‘New York Union Members Now Have a Choice in Paying Dues.’
The message came from the Mackinac Center, a Michigan-based conservative group that has pushed “right to work” and other anti-union legislation over the years. It steered recipients to an online opt-out form they could use to leave their union, which is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.
The email, which AFT shared with HuffPost, is a sign of what faces organized labor as conservative groups around the country work to dry up the revenue streams for public sector unions.
Last week, the Supreme Court ruled against unions in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31. The case focused on what are known as ‘fair share’ fees. In the U.S., a union must represent everyone in a particular bargaining unit equally, whether or not they personally join the union. So in states that allowed it, unions have bargained for contracts that require everyone to chip in for the costs of bargaining and representation on employment conditions (although workers were still free not to fund their unions’ political causes).
The Janus ruling made fair share fees illegal in the public sector, on the grounds that they amount to compelled speech and violate a worker’s First Amendment rights. The 5-4 decision issued by the court’s conservative wing gives millions of workers in 22 states the opportunity to stop paying union fees, even though they can continue to enjoy the benefits of a union contract. (Workers in the other 28 states, which have passed so-called right-to-work laws, already had the option to not pay fees.)”
For the rest of the story, visit the Huffington Post here.