Marcha 23, 2018

How An Illinois Man Is Trying To Change Federal Union Laws

01 Marcha 2018, 01:09 | Benedicto Grullon

Organized labor case from Ill. goes in front of Supreme Court

Billed as A Working People’s Day of Action an estimated 1,000 AFSCME and other union members rallied Saturday Feb. 24 2018 at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul MN. The members were primarily advocating for labor interests related to the Janus

On Monday, the Supreme Court heard a major case that will substantially weaken public-sector unions and diminish the strength of the Democratic Party.

But some who object point out the "fair-share" fees they have to pay support all union activities, including political initiatives with which some non-members disagree.

Because the employer is a government agency, that violates the First Amendment, which forbids the government to compel speech, Janus and his lawyers argue.

The Supreme Court granted the case - brought by Mark Janus against the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, in IL - in late September, once Gorsuch had joined the court, and heard arguments on Monday. He argued that public employee unions are inherently political, so forcing any worker to pay agency fees constitutes compelled political speech. Moreover, their prodigious campaign spending allows them to rent politicians who will make sure that the collective bargaining agreements that are executed with the unions favor the unions to the detriment of taxpayers who must pay for all this largess. These fees help cover the costs of collective bargaining that benefits union and non-union workers alike.

The New York Times reported that conservative donors have been bankrolling an effort, which led to this court case, to limit unions' power, since unions tend to back Democrats.

The court split 4-4 when it considered the issue in 2016 after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. The ninth, Justice Neil Gorsuch, didn't ask a single question or otherwise show his hand. Last year, they successfully lobbied for a new state law that requires government workers, upon being hired, to go through an orientation session with union representatives.

The resolution says Janus v. AFSCME denies freedoms for public workers and the city should proclaim its support for union workers by guiding them through the potential aftermath of the court's decision. Those opposed counter that unions are critical to protecting workers and upholding their rights and should be compensated for that.

Agency fees infringed on Janus's First Amendment rights, Messenger said.

Mark Janus, an IL government employee, is suing the union that represents him - but of which he is not a member - on the grounds that deductions from his paycheck go to fund activities for views he may not share.

"These are two openly, openly anti-union groups", Warren said yesterday at an AFL-CIO rally in Boston.

Labor leaders fear their members will abandon unions if they can get all the benefits of representation without paying for it.

He believes it's immoral to demand that Janus give his money to a public union.

The U.S. Supreme Court could make a decision at anytime in the coming months with a ruling that is likely to come around when the current term ends in June.

"Twenty-three states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, all would have their statutes declared unconstitutional at once", said Justice Elena Kagan, another member of the liberal wing of the court.

"When have we ever done something like that?" Conservatives, including Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito, appeared ready to rule against the unions and maybe even overturn the court's 41-year-old precedent.

The case is Janus v. AFSCME, Docket No. 16-1466.

"I'm very pro-union. I think that the more people involved in the union, the stronger it is".

"What you'd also see is a group of people who had signed membership cards, let's say 15% of them, who would immediately eave their union", he said.

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