As widely anticipated, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against a law in Illinois requiring non-members of public sector unions to pay fees for the benefits they receive from collective bargaining. This decision is expected to reduce the membership and revenues of unions, a long-sought goal of reactionaries.
The named plaintiff is Mark Janus. In Roman mythology, Janus is represented as two-faced.
Supreme Court rules nonunion workers cannot be forced to pay fees to public sector unions
Tucker Higgins | @tuckerhiggins
Published 57 Mins Ago Updated 18 Mins Ago
The Koch brothers must be celebrating!
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Wednesday in Janus v. AFSCME that non-union workers cannot be forced to pay fees to public sector unions.
The case concerns whether public employees can be forced to pay so-called “agency fees” to fund the work of public sector unions.
Experts said that a holding in favor of Janus would be the most significant court decision affecting collective bargaining rights in decades.
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Wednesday in Janus v. AFSCME that nonunion workers cannot be forced to pay fees to public sector unions.
The case, one of the most hotly anticipated of the term, is the second in two days to hand a major victory to conservatives, following Tuesday’s holding by the court that President Donald Trump’s travel ban is constitutional. Some experts have said that a holding in favor of the plaintiff, Mark Janus, would be the most significant court decision affecting collective bargaining in decades.
Janus, an employee at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Human Services, asked the court last summer to overrule a 40-year-old Supreme Court decision. It found that public sector unions could require employees affected by their negotiations to pay so-called “agency fees,” which have also been called “fair share fees.”
Those fees, approved by the court in the 1977 case Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, cover collective bargaining costs, such as contract negotiations, but are meant to exclude political advocacy.
Janus argued that his $45 monthly fee to the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees was unconstitutional. He said the fees infringed on his first amendment rights, and that, in the case of public employees whose contract negotiations are with the government, the fees were a form of political advocacy.