Don’t be fooled. Yesterday’s Supreme Court hearing in Harris v. Quinn was about corporate profits – the cold, hard cash that employers can save when they break their workers’ union.
No, it wasn’t about employees’ First Amendment rights. You can safely ignore all that flowery rhetoric from the Plaintiffs’ lawyers (who are from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation… are you beginning to get the picture?)
If those lawyers actually cared about First Amendment rights, they would be challenging the Hatch Act or all those state-level laws that restrict the political activity of public employees. Or they would be standing up for some of the workers who have been fired by private employers for “talking politics” at work. (Guess what? In most states, discrimination because of personal political actions or affiliations IS LEGAL.)
But no, no, those lawyers are going after union agency fees. Basically, they’re trying to impose so-called “Right to Work” across the nation through a court decision – bypassing all those state legislatures, and asking the Supreme Court to become “activist judges” and overturn long-settled federal labor law.
Whodathunkit, from supposed “conservatives”?
Whodathunk that “conservatives” would want to restrict employers’ rights to deal with their own employees in the way they see fit? Fact is: the employer decides whether or not to agree to fee-payer arrangements in a union contract. If employers don’t want to have all their workers paying a fair share of collective bargaining costs… well, there lots of other things to bargain about (like, maybe, better health benefits; or job security).
Nope. This isn’t an argument about highfalutin ideals, or anybody’s rights. (It’s well-settled law that workers give up some of their First Amendment rights, just by accepting a job.)
This is simply about the fact that prohibiting union agency fees effectively cuts wages – by about $1,500 per employee per year – and that adds to corporate profit margins.
Which are already “at an All-Time Record Peak and Expected to Grow in 2014.”
Got the picture?