I’ve never disputed the right of members of a group to gather in unity and plead their case. For example, if I and several of my peers in the office were to band together and make the case that we needed more money – we have every right to do that.
As long as my employer can fire me if I stop working to protest his decision not to pay me more.
Membership As Barrier To Entry
And that’s the rub – to work in many industries you have to belong to a union. You have to. It’s a requirement for employment.
And that means that an individual is subjected to fees, dues and other illegal coercion on the part of unions that they ought not be subjected too.
A federal lawsuit filed by a group of California public school teachers saying mandatory payment of union dues violates their right of free speech is moving forward in the courts..
In essence, in California and 25 other “closed shop” states, the teachers by law must join a union as a condition of employment and pay union dues to keep their jobs.
Union reps say those fees help their efforts to improve workplace safety, for instance, and get better contracts for all employees. They add that teachers can opt-out of paying dues that fund political activities.
But many teachers say opting out is a difficult and intimidating process and claim they face harassment and losing their liability insurance. Others say they get only a fraction of their money back.
So last May, a group of California teachers filed a federal lawsuit, saying the mandatory bankrolling violates their right of free speech.
The case will soon be heard by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, on a path to the U.S. Supreme Court.
If you want to join a union, by all means, join that union. But you cannot force me to join one as well.