SCOTUS Deals Major Blow To Public Sector Unions

CNBC reports:

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Wednesday that non-union workers cannot be forced to pay fees to public sector unions.

The case, one of the most hotly anticipated of the term, concerns whether public employees can be forced to pay fees that fund the work of public sector unions. Some experts have said that a holding in favor of Janus would be the most significant court decision affecting collective bargaining in decades.

Mark 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.”

NPR reports:

Wednesday’s ruling is a victory for conservative activists who have been waging a multipronged battle against organized labor — and a potentially crippling blow for public sector unions.

“This case is yet another example of corporate interests using their power and influence to launch a political attack on working people and rig the rules of the economy in their own favor,” Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, said in a statement when the case reached the high court.

Government workers have been a relative stronghold in an otherwise shrinking labor movement. More than a third of the public sector workforce is unionized, compared with less than 7 percent in the private sector.