Opinion: High court sends a clear message
It was a heartening 5-4 vote last week by which the United States Supreme Court ruled public-sector unions in Illinois are forbidden from collecting fees from home-health care workers who don’t want to be part of a union. If there was a failing in the decision, it is that it is limited to health-care workers and not all public-sector unions. Justices sadly abjured the opportunity to curb the act of public-sector unions passing representation costs to non-members. The decision, though, has registered as a setback for unions in Illinois and similarly minded states that force home-health care workers to unjustifiably hand over union dues. We believe it should be extended to the entirety of union members nationwide. A closed shop should not exist, for such an entity obliterates freedom on multiple levels. If someone wants to join a union and pay dues, that’s a personal choice. Labor unions argued, though, that if Illinois is allowed to back out of its collective-bargaining agreement with the union, it would only be a matter of time before workers see their wages cut and benefits dropped. And there it is, a scare tactic. Union leaders are said to also fear conservative judges across the nation using the ruling to strike down laws in 26 states that require public-sector employees, such as teachers and police officers, to fork over dues to the unions that negotiate contracts on their behalf even if the employee doesn’t want to become a union member. And as for unions protecting members’ employment positions, in our experiences we’ve never witnessed a worker with a poor performance record have his or her job “saved by the union” – although we’re not so naive as to think it doesn’t happen, because we’re certain it does. Regardless, it all boils down to this with respect to union leadership and its trailing zealots: Liberals don’t really care what you do as long as it’s compulsory.