UNITED STATES, (WDTN) – In a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court has dealt a blow to public sector unions by ruling that it is not a requirement for all employees who are represented by a union to pay into it.
It was an expected but controversial decision, receiving both support and criticism locally, regionally and nationally.
The Supreme Court voted 5-4 in the Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees case that workers who are represented by a Union but choose not to join are not required to cover the cost.
Often called “fair share fees,” it was argued these charges are unconstitutional because they stifle free speech, forcing nonmembers to “subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern” said the majority ruling justice members.
Senator Brown released a statement after the decision that said, “Workers produce more than ever, but don’t share in the wealth they create. Our economy doesn’t value work. We change that by giving workers a voice in the businesses they help build – not silencing them. The decision is shameful, and it’s a setback – but we’re not going to stop organizing and fighting back for workers who build the middle class.”
James Hicks, a Miami Valley resident, supports the Supreme Court’s decision because he said the need for unions has decreased and previously worked for a company that did take pay from non-union employees to cover the collective bargaining.
“If a person was hired on temporarily, the union would still take dues from that person and if they were hired on, those dues went into place but if not, they lost that money to the union,” said Hicks.
And Honeebee Edmonds agrees.
“Why pay for something you don’t get to get the benefits of?,” said Honeebee.
But another Dayton resident, Steven Hall, said it is not that simple.
The employees where unions are available are so intertwined and connected, they depend on the union’s efforts more than they know.
“Without that money coming in from the people to support the union, then they don’t realize they’re not only affecting the people in the union, but the backlash of it is they’re going to be affecting themselves for future generations,” said Hall.
2NEWS reached out to the local AFSCME Local 101 chapter but they said they have no comment on the decision.