The Supreme Court hears arguments on whether union workers have the right not to give:
At issue are the complaints of home health care workers in Illinois, who object to having to pay "fair share fees" to compensate the union for its work. The workers say the fees violate the First Amendment by compelling them to associate with the union.It would seem that the workers have certain grievances that aren't being addressed by their system...
Though lower courts have thrown out the lawsuit, if the Supreme Court agrees it could undermine the ability of unions in several states -- not just Illinois -- to collect fees from home care workers. That would, then, chip away at union budgets and membership in the public sector.
In Illinois, those workers are classified as state employees because their salaries come from Medicaid.
Paul Smith, who represented the state, argued that the union fees are being spent on a variety of services, including negotiating contracts, operating a call center and maintaining a "grievance system."
But William Messenger, representing the workers, said the "compulsory" fee system "violates the First Amendment."