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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Default Supreme Court Deals Blow To Labor Unions

    COURT: PUBLIC UNION CAN'T MAKE NONMEMBERS PAY FEES


    WASHINGTON (AP) -- WASHINGTON (AP) â(EURO)” The Supreme Court dealt a blow to public sector unions Monday, ruling that thousands of home health care workers in Illinois cannot be required to pay fees that help cover a union's costs of collective bargaining.

    In a 5-4 split along ideological lines, the justices said the practice violates the First Amendment rights of nonmembers who disagree with the positions that unions take.

    The ruling is a setback for labor unions that have bolstered their ranks and their bank accounts in Illinois and other states by signing up hundreds of thousands of in-home care workers. It could lead to an exodus of members who will have little incentive to pay dues if nonmembers don't have to share the burden of union costs.

    But the narrow ruling was limited to "partial-public employees" and stopped short of overturning decades of practice that has generally allowed public sector unions of teachers, firefighters and other government workers to pass through their representation costs to nonmembers.

    Writing for the court, Justice Samuel Alito said home care workers "are different from full-fledged public employees" because they work primarily for their disabled or elderly customers and do not have most of the rights and benefits of state employees. The ruling does not affect private sector workers.

    The case involves about 26,000 Illinois workers who provide home care for disabled people and are paid with Medicaid funds administered by the state. In 2003, the state passed a measure deeming the workers state employees eligible for collective bargaining.

    A majority of the workers then selected the Service Employees International Union to negotiate with the state to increase wages, improve health benefits and set up training programs. Those workers who chose not to join the union had to pay proportional "fair share" fees to cover collective bargaining and other administration costs.

    A group of workers led by Pamela Harris â(EURO)” a home health aide who cares for her disabled son at home â(EURO)” filed a lawsuit arguing the fees violate the First Amendment. Backed by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, the workers said it wasn't fair to make someone pay fees to a group that takes positions the fee-payer disagrees with.

    The workers argue they are not different from typical government employees because they work in people's homes, not on government property, and are not supervised by other state employees. And they say the union is not merely seeking higher wages, but making a political push for expansion of Medicaid payments.

    Alito agreed, saying "it is impossible to argue that the level of Medicaid funding (or, for that matter, state spending for employee benefits in general) is not a matter of great public concern."

    The workers had urged the justices to go even farther and overturn a 1977 Supreme Court decision which held that public employees who choose not to join a union can still be required to pay representation fees, as long as those fees don't go toward political purposes.

    Alito said the court was not overturning that case, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, which is confined "to full-fledged state employees." But he said that extending Abood to include "partial-public employees, quasi-public employees, or simply private employees would invite problems."

    About half of the states require these fair-share fees.

    Justice Elena Kagan wrote the dissent for the four liberal justices. Kagan said the majority's decision to leave the older case in place is "cause for satisfaction, though hardly applause."

    Kagan agreed with the state's arguments that home care workers should be treated the same as other public workers because Illinois sets their salaries, resolves disputes over pay, conducts performance reviews and enforces the terms of employment contracts.

    "Our decisions have long afforded government entities broad latitude to manage their workforces, even when that affects speech they could not regulate in other contexts," Kagan said.

    Harris issued a statement through the National Right to Work Foundation praising the decision.

    "Families in Illinois can relax knowing their homes are safe from being a union workplace and there will be no third party intruding into the care we provide our disabled sons and daughters," Harris said.

    A federal district court and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had rejected her lawsuit, citing the high court's precedent.

    The Supreme Court's limited ruling means public unions avoided a potentially devastating blow that could have meant a major drop in public employee membership ranks.

    Mary Kay Henry, president of the SEIU, said her union would work with Illinois officials to create a new model for "working together to create good jobs and improve the quality of care that we deliver to seniors and the disabled."

    Henry said it was not clear how the decision would affect home care union models in other states, where the union represents 400,000 caregivers.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the ruling would make it harder for home care workers "to get a fair shake in exchange for their hard work" and make it tougher for states and cities "to ensure the elderly and Americans with disabilities get the care they need and deserve."


    At least nine other states have allowed home care workers to join unions: California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.
    Last edited by bklynboy68; 06.30.14 at 03:21 PM.
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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk Bad to the Bone's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 12:34 PM
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    I understand the hatred some have towards unions.

    I worked at a non union automotive supplier for 10 years and got screwed over more times than I can count. I was lucky, I got educated and got out but take it from me in that type of environment if they can screw you they will.

    It's a shame so many people take advantage of having a union so they can act like idiots all the time.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    Default

    Jules ? This rings a bell ...
    Last edited by RRvh1; 06.30.14 at 05:00 PM.
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  4. #4
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 12:57 PM
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    Default

    The trouble most people have with unions isn't the concept, but rather the execution. Union leaders become lifelong, high-paid political activists who line liberal politicians' campaign pockets and in turn get personal favors from those elected officials. It's become the worst form of crony capitalism since the money is literally being taken from the workers' pockets to be given to the wealthy.

    That, and the unreasonable demands unions place on employers causing them to price themselves out of a job, make these labor unions unsympathetic figures.

    Full disclosure, my family used to own a union plumbing shop. I had numerous family members that were union plumbers. However, when the high hourly wages slowly killed the business, there was no recourse from the union leadership--they wouldn't allow us to change the pay structure to make it fall in line with a low margin, repair-shop model, so the 4th generation union business had to be sold to a non-union shop.

    Meanwhile, the local union donated millions to Democratic politicians and lobbied hard against construction projects that didn't have enough minority owned businesses involved. Our company was run by my mom, which technically made it a minority owned company.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Default Supreme Court ruling on union dues could cost SEIU millions in payback

    One of the nation's most powerful labor unions could face a costly onslaught of lawsuits seeking tens of millions of dollars in dues, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the money was collected improperly, legal experts said.

    In a ruling Monday, the high court held that Service Employees International Union cannot force people who care for loved ones to be union members and deduct dues from the government checks of those they care for. The practice has gone on for several years in a handful of states, creating a lucrative stream of cash for the powerful labor organization, which represents more than 2 million workers and takes in about $300 million per year.

    “The whole point of the decision was that the folks milked by the SEIU weren’t really public employees and should not be forced to pay union dues at all," said Hans Bader, senior attorney for the Competitive Enterprise Institute. "So they should be able to sue for refund of their compelled union dues back as far as the statute of limitations will allow.
    “It could have a large effect,” he added.

    "... they should be able to sue for refund of their compelled union dues back as far as the statute of limitations will allow."
    - Hans Bader, Competitive Enterprise Institute


    The National Right to Work Foundation, which also represented plaintiff Pamela Harris in Harris v. Quinn, plans to pursue improperly collected dues on behalf of its clients, who could become part of a class action, according to a spokesman.

    "Although we won at the Supreme Court, the case will now continue in the lower courts to win back the money that was illegally taken from the providers," Anthony Riedel said.

    Paul Kersey, an attorney and director of labor policy at the Illinois Policy Institute, which filed an amicus brief in support of Harris, said the legal consortium that backed her is "definitely looking at possible options going forward.”

    Home health aides have become a key segment of SEIU's base, comprising about 20 percent of the union's membership. In Illinois and other states, they were classified as public-sector workers, paid out of the proceeds of entitlement checks and thus automatically members of the SEIU. Harris' 25-year-old son, who suffers from a genetic disorder called Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome, receives a monthly Medicaid check of approximately $1,300, from which about $90 was automatically deducted for union dues.

    It is unclear exactly how much the SEIU reaped in the stricken dues collection scheme, but in Illinois, the union took in an estimated $20 million per year in dues collected from home health care and day care workers. Many of those workers are employed by state contractors and could opt to continue to be represented by the union.

    Home health care unions are structured differently from state to state, but the broad interpretation of Monday's ruling is that home health care workers cannot be forced to join unions and can opt out of paying dues even if the union bargains on their behalf. Although Monday's ruling specifically applies to 26,000 home health care workers in Illinois, it could eventually affect hundreds of thousands of unionized home health care workers in states including California, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Vermont and Connecticut.

    Although the SEIU did not address the dues collection issue specifically, officials expressed confidence that workers will continue to see value in collective bargaining.

    "No court case is going to stand in the way of home care workers coming together to have a strong voice for good jobs and quality home care," said SEIU President Mary Kay Henry. "At a time when wages remain stagnant and income inequality is out of control, joining together in a union is the only proven way home care workers have of improving their lives and the lives of the people they care for."

    But if workers cannot be automatically signed up, the union will have to actively court them and membership will almost certainly drop. In Michigan, where the SEIU had dues deducted directly from Medicare checks sent to people cared for in their homes by loved ones, the practice ended when lawmakers passed legislation in 2012 making it a right-to-work state. Membership among people previously classified as home health workers plunged by 80 percent by some measures.

    In Michigan, the SEIU kept people previously classified as union members on its rolls unless they affirmatively opted out during a one-month annual period. The legality of that under the state's right to work law is in dispute, and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy has launched a class-action suit to recoup $3 million worth of dues collected after 2012 from claimants who believed their membership ended when the law was changed. Monday's decision could prompt them to go back even further, subject to Michigan's three-year statute of limitations.

    "Now that there is a constitutional violation, there is a possibility of looking for a claim [going back much further]," said Mackinac Vice Presidents for Legal Affairs Patrick Wright.

    FoxNews.com first reported in April about the Michigan suit, with Mackinac plaintiff Patricia Haynes decrying how the union took dues out of entitlement checks she and her husband used to care for their two adult children who are afflicted with cerebral palsy.

    “They couldn’t get me a raise, they couldn’t get me more vacation time and they certainly did nothing to improve my children’s care,” Haynes said. “I’d hate to say it, but in my opinion, they were stealing.”

    Rick Berman, executive director of Center for Union Facts, said the decision could spark several class-action suits in states where the union collected dues from people who didn't willingly join.

    “It could be a case where individual people bring suit for restitution,” Berman said. "In any particular state where dues were collected this way, that would definitely meet the test for a class action, because they would be similarly situated."

    Even if workers previously classified as public-sector union workers can't claw back dues that were improperly collected, the ruling will have a big negative impact on SEIU going forward," he added.

    "I don't know if they're going to have to give the money they collected back, but they won't be able to deduct it that way going forward, and that is a big hit," Berman said.



    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014...due-skim-scam/
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

    "Make way for the bad guy"- Tony Montana

    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

 

 

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