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Supreme Court Ruling Devastating to Public Worker Unions

August 15th, 2018

Throughout this country, labor unions play a powerful and positive role in improving conditions in the workplace, protecting workers’ rights, and ensuring pay equality for their members. America’s unions represent millions of public employees, including nurses, firefighters, social workers, and more. In fact, nearly half of all union members in the United States are public employees. However, sometimes unions also protect public employees who are not members when they negotiate contracts.

Despite the protection that unions provide for public employees who choose not to join a union, the Supreme Court has recently ruled that non-members cannot be forced to pay a share of union dues to cover the cost of contract negotiation. This is a huge blow to public worker unions.

Union experts believe that this ruling will diminish the political power that unions have in 23 states where they negotiate for both members and non-members, while also reducing a source of union income. They predicted that this defeat could result in a loss of 726,000 members for public employee unions.

Since a 1977 court ruling, non-union members are required to pay a portion of union dues, or agency fees, which go toward the cost of collective bargaining. This was mandated so that free riders would not get the benefit of union negotiation without paying for it.

Those opposed to this ruling believe that it prevents the American people from making important choices about workplace governance. They believe it weaponizes the First Amendment and unleashes judges to intervene in economic and regulatory policy. It could mean taking the power out of the hands of the American worker.

To learn more about how we can help you protect your rights at work, contact the Philadelphia employment lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Please call 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free consultation. We are centrally located in Philadelphia, and we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.

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