SEIU rallies for union rights outside county office in Upper Darby

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On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the case Janus v.

"The problem is, even though that fee is not supposed to allow the union to spend political dollars in their names, everything a public sector union does is political, because they bargain with the government over employee wages and working conditions", Dewhirst argued.

Michele Jansen, director of legislation and public policy for Pennsylvania Right to Work, also expressed support for Janus.

He argues that requiring him to pay the fee infringes on his constitutional rights to free speech and association by essentially forcing him to support a group that advocates positions with which he disagrees-in particular, its push for boosting worker salaries in a state facing a budget crisis after reportedly mismanaging its pension program. That case was challenged a year ago in Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association which ended up with a 4-4 tie after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, leaving the fees in place. Justice Anthony Kennedy asked David Frederick, an attorney arguing on behalf of AFSCME.

"Janus v. AFSCME is a sham, a thinly veiled plot to subjugate workers and destroy the unions that fight for fair wages, benefits and dignified retirements for working families", said UUP President Frederick E. Kowal in a news release.

The Freedom Foundation counsel echoed the concerns of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who warned against the very idea of public sector unions. These fees help cover the costs of collective bargaining that benefits union and non-union workers alike. Clauses mandating that dissenting employees pay the "fair-share fees" can be removed without disrupting the rest of the contract, they said.

Photo Union members gathered outside the United States Supreme Court today. As public sector unions here prepare for the worst, they need to get that message out.

They say the 40-year-old Supreme Court decision has left the decision in the hands of the states to decide how to proceed.

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Justice Gorsuch, who is often viewed as a successor to Scalia's ideology, is expected to tilt the case against the AFSCME this term.

Ken Giardin, with the fiscal watchdog group, the Empire Center, says the reasoning in the case is that the union, through collective bargaining and other lobbying activities, finances speech that is meant to influence the government.

"When they're bargaining with government, it is an inherently political activity". Kennedy pointed out that public unions come down “against privatization, against merit promotion. for massive government, for increasing bonded indebtedness, for increasing taxes.”.

"I'm sorry, I thought we had always recognized that the government as an employer had a compelling interest in regulating its employment decisions", Sotomayor said. Union leaders say the ultimate goal of those pressing the case is to undermine the clout of the labor movement.

Francisco added that government union negotiations are a form of political advocacy, which goes to the core of free-speech rights.

"Property and contract rights, the statutes of many states and the livelihoods of millions of individuals affected all at once", Kagan said.

So why should Mr. Janus be forced to pay fees to support the union?

Justice Anthony Kennedy prodded Franklin on the goal of the state's interest in negotiating with a single partner. They are simply distinct from lobbying or giving money to political candidates, which since 1977, there is an exemption under the law that says unions can not require any kind of payment from a non-union member for political activity.

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