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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Workers in Janus Union Dues Case

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The Competitive Enterprise Institute praised a 5-to-4 Supreme Court ruling today in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 ending forced union dues for public sector workers.

CEI labor policy analyst Trey Kovacs said the following about the ruling:

“Today’s decision is a long-awaited victory for worker freedom. Nearly 5 million public-sector workers’ First Amendment rights have been restored, and they are free to choose whether or not to pay for union representation. Now unions, like any other private organization, will have to provide services workers value for their dues money and will be held accountable to their membership.”

Kovacs urges “members-only” unions as a solution for both unions and workers. Unions would only be obligated to represent the interests of the workers who choose to join and pay dues, and workers would be free to join a union or forego union representation and negotiate directly with the employer.

Andrew Grossman, a partner with BakerHostetler, who filed an amicus brief pro bono on CEI’s behalf said: 

“The court’s decision properly recognizes that no Americans should be forced to fund political advocacy that goes against their beliefs and values. What’s most significant is that public employees will get immediate relief: without affirmative consent, the government may not take money from anyone and hand it over to a labor union.”

CEI’s amicus brief supported Mark Janus, a child support specialist with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, who argued he should not be compelled to pay dues to a union as a condition of employment. CEI’s brief documented the widespread union practice of using compelled dues to pay for controversial political advocacy and causes, in violation of the First Amendment rights of state and local public sector workers.

  • Learn more about the Janus case and members-only unions at cei.org/janus.
  • Read CEI's amicus brief here