SCOTUS ruling on unionized home health care workers rooted in Michigan
Patrick Center July 1, 2014 | WGVU The Supreme Court ruled 5-to-4 split along ideological lines. The justices said requiring home-based caregivers to pay union dues violates the First Amendment rights of non-members who disagree with the positions that unions take.In Michigan, the Service Employees International Union or SEIU unionized caregivers.
In 2012, Michigan became a Right to Work state ending forced unionization. That same year the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation filed an amicus brief, Harris v. Quinn, asking the Supreme Court to hear the case.
“The objection was the across the board unionization that required a payment of dues. So individuals who still want to join SEIU and pay dies can do so and if they perceive some benefit or value they’ll still be free to.”
It's a setback for labor unions that have increased their ranks -- and boosted their bank accounts -- in Illinois and other states by signing up hundreds of thousands of in-home care workers. The ruling could cause members to leave those unions -- feeling they have little incentive to pay dues if non-members don't have to share the burden of union costs. But the ruling was limited to this particular segment of workers, and not private sector unions. And it stopped short of overturning decades of practice that generally has allowed public sector unions to pass their representation costs on to non-members. ListenDownload
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