March 29, 2016
SCOTUS deadlock a victory for working people
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 4-4 ruling in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association is a win for labor—at least for now.
“This is a defeat for anti-union, conservative forces whose goal is to bankrupt unions and dilute their political influence,” UUP President Fred Kowal said of the court’s March 29 deadlock. “But organized labor cannot rest, knowing full well that the same anti-union factions that brought Friedrichs before the high court have others cases in the pipeline to challenge unions.”
The decision upheld the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision affirming the authority of public sector unions to collect dues from all members of a bargaining unit, including fee payers.
This “fair share” approach has worked well since the court ruled in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education in 1977, which gave unions the right to collect fees from bargaining unit members for services that benefit them—such as higher salaries, health benefits, job protections and representation in disciplinary hearings.
Kowal urged members to be active in this year’s elections to ensure that UUP has friends in the White House, Congress and in the judiciary who will work to defend the hard-earned rights of working-class Americans.
While UUPers have reason to celebrate, Kowal said he doesn’t want members to lose focus on the importance of continuing with organizing and mobilizing efforts.
“I thank all of those involved in the important work of our organizing campaign,” Kowal said. “Let's all work a little bit harder and create the powerful union that will benefit all of us, our families and our students.”
Union leaders on Friedrichs
Here’s what other union leaders are saying about the Friedrichs decision:
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