Free Minds & Free Markets

Supreme Court Case Could Spell End of Mandatory Public Sector Union Dues: New at Reason

Jeff Malet Photography/NewscomJeff Malet Photography/NewscomThe high court could extend "right to work" principles to government employment in a case it's expected to decide this summer.

John Stossel writes:

If your workplace is a union shop, are you forced to pay union dues? Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about that.

When I worked at CBS and ABC, I was ordered to join the American Federation of Radio and TV Artists. That union had won a vote that gave them the right to speak for all reporters. I said, "I'm no 'artist.' I'm a reporter! I won't join!" But my bosses said they couldn't pay me unless I did.

In right-to-work states, unions can't force people to join. But only 28 states are right to work. Aging socialist bureaucracies like New York state are not among them.

But now the Supreme Court may say that no government worker, in any state, can be forced to pay a union.

"If we lose this case, the entire public sector will be right to work," warns Lee Saunders, president of AFSCME, the big government employees union.


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