Features, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, National

Supreme Court Won’t Review Decision Preserving Public-Sector Unions

November 22, 2017

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court will not review a lower-court ruling holding that Illinois child-care providers and home

U.S. Supreme Court.

health-care assistants cannot refuse to be represented by the Service Employees International Union. The Court on Nov. 13 denied a petition brought by the Chicago-based Liberty Justice Center and the National Right to Work Foundation to hear their claim that the state requiring all workers in a bargaining unit to accept a union as their exclusive representative violated their free-speech rights by forcing them to “associate” with the union. The federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected that claim in March, ruling that the workers were not compelled to join the union, that the state had “legitimate interests in hearing the concerns of providers when deciding what employment terms to offer them,” and that “negotiating with one majority-elected exclusive bargaining representative seems a rational means of serving these interests.” Minnesota union organizer Dave Kamper, writing in Jacobin, said this case could “have ended public-sector unions entirely,” because “‘exclusive representation’ lies at the heart of American labor law…. Without it, employers have no obligation to come to the table with unions; collective bargaining becomes nearly impossible.”

Read more here. 

November 22, 2017

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