Union gets hammered for not notifying members of dues increase.

This editorial from the New York Times:


In the case Knox vs Service Employees International Union
The court’s five conservatives ruled that in 2005, Local 1000 of the Service Employees International Union should have sent a notice to all nonmembers it represented when it imposed a temporary 25 percent increase in union dues for public-sector employees in California to fight two anti-union ballot measures.

The court said the union infringed on the free speech rights of the nonmembers by not giving them the chance to prevent the use of their dues to support expressions of political views unrelated to collective bargaining. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg agreed with this narrow judgment only.

The majority held that “the union should have sent out a new notice allowing nonmembers to opt in to the special fee.” Justice Alito described the longtime rule allowing union charges to nonmembers unless they opted out of paying part of the dues as “a remarkable boon for unions” that approaches “the limit of what the First Amendment can tolerate.” For the first time and on its own initiative, the court mandated an opt-in requirement.

Not having the ability to opt into a financial arrangement in wider civil society is pro forma invoicing. It is hard to believe this precedent has only just been set. Maybe my unionized friends could explain. A similar case in New Zealand is the legislation to remove compulsory student union membership.
I can’t see the problem myself – in the public sector, any company or collective needs to advertise to attract and retain it’s customer base.

Why should unions be special?

An obvious exception is where the individuals work alongside, ‘shoulder to shoulder’ , or for the government. But unions need to up the game in the public sector.

Discuss and share:

Become enlightened.
Get the newsletter: