Unions Must Stick to Basics if Janus Decision Goes Against Them

Protecting our communities means keeping our unions strong

The court split 4-4 the last time it considered the issue in 2016 following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

On Monday the court heard arguments in the challenge to an IL law that allows unions representing government employees to collect fees from workers who choose not to join.

"From a member point of view, coming from a non-union job into a union job, I feel like it's important because with a union you have a back-up with any problems you have with benefits, better pay, raises", he said. My case, Janus v. AFSCME, will be heard by the court on February 26.

A deeply divided U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a labor union dues case Monday that organized labor advocates said could undercut existing contacts with states, cities and school districts around the nation. That case was challenged past year in Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association which ended up with a 4-4 tie after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, leaving the fees in place.

But the elevation of conservative Neil Gorsuch to the court by President Donald Trump a year ago is likely to prove a decisive factor this time around. "When they organize for dignity and respect, we should support them".

Justice Neil Gorsuch was appointed by President Donald Trump to replace Scalia and Hebert believes he'll stick with his fellow conservatives, which could have some far reaching repercussions.

In between union chants of "right to work has got to go" and "stand up, fight back" they dismissed the plaintiff, an IL state employee named Mark Janus, who doesn't want to give his money to the union who represents him. "They're attacking us because they see a strong labor movement as a threat to their wealth and power", Weingarten said.

If the unions lose, won't they have less political influence, Kennedy asked David Frederick, representing the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Illinois affiliate.

The previous ruling allows public sector unions to charge non-members who benefit from their collective bargaining.

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Mark Janus, who works for the State of IL and chose not to join the AFSCME union, believes his First Amendment rights have been violated.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that the challengers were basically arguing to "do away" with unions.

They say the fees Janus is obligated to pay are for union operations and are not used for union lobbying activities or backing political candidates. Unions shouldn't get to use other people's money.

"In a union environment, anyone who's in a union shop has to participate in paying fair share for their representation", said Horeckli.

The American Civil Liberties Union is on the unions' side against an individual's free speech claims.

John Eastman says the Supreme Court should rule in favor of plaintiff Mark Janus in this case.

Union supporters argue changes to the precedent will weaken unions. A decision in the case is expected no later than June.

Martilynne Middleton, a business agent for Services Employees International Union, said employees can voluntarily donate a portion of their salaries for political purposes to the union's bipartisan Committee on Political Education.

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