...Can conservative opponents of organized labor use the courts to break public unions...?
If you are a government employee in a unionized workplace--a teacher, for example...you and all of your colleagues pay a set fee to the union, to cover the costs of the union's work to negotiate a contract that you work under. This is simply the principle of everyone paying their fair share for work that benefits everyone. If you are a teacher and you happen to dislike teachers unions for some political reason, you are not required to be a member of the union; if you do not want to be a member of the union, you cannot be required to pay fees to cover strictly political activities that the union undertakes, like lobbying or political donations to favored candidates. But since the union negotiates the contract that covers everyone, you are still required to pay your fair share fee, called an 'agency fee,' to cover bargaining costs.
The Friedrichs case aims to do away with the requirement that those who enjoy the benefits of public union contracts pay an agency fee to cover the cost of getting those contracts in the first place. Why? The legal argument in the case is that all union activity is inherently political."
eye'm thynkin': These anti-union conservatives want something for nothing--they want to benefit from a contract, but not pay for the effort it takes to come to a contract agreement.
Basically they're saying that demanding to be given something for nothing when you're a public employee is fine, but asking to be given assistance when you're poor, elderly, or unemployed makes you a "freeloader." Conservative logic at its finest.
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