More Union Dues Blues
How another battle for workers' rights is shaping up:
Hughes and the plaintiffs are fighting to make Illinois a right-to-work state, and their lawsuit is headed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, where Hughes says the court might rule in favor of the unions based on a previous precedent. That case, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, in 1977 established it’s legal for unions to collect fees and split the money between items that are either “political” or “not political.”And tell those workers what to do...
The argument in this lawsuit, however, is that all union cash eventually is used for a political purpose.
“Everything government unions do is political in nature, and if it is political in nature, then the First Amendment is going to cover it, and workers can’t be required to pay anything to unions as a condition of keeping their job in government,” said Mark Mix, of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
If Janus and the plaintiffs lose the appeal, their lawyers plan to take the case to the Supreme Court where President Trump’s recent nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, if confirmed would be expected to restore the 5-4 split between conservatives and liberals—which could increase the chances of ruling in favor of Janus.
But pro-union politicians and many workers argue right-to-work laws amount to a special interest cause pushed by wealthy execs and conservatives trying to make it difficult for workers to band together.
“Working people like me are frustrated by an economy and politicians that have left us behind, and this case threatens to make it even worse,” said Stephen Mittons, in a written statement provided by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. “This case threatens to weaken our ability to have a voice on the job and serve our communities.”