Posts tagged First amendment

    Goldwater Tells Federal Agency to Protect Workers’ Rights from Union Power Grab

    January 26, 2023 // The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents more than 150,000 federal employees working in dozens of government agencies, is one of many big labor unions that wants to make it difficult for people to leave and stop paying dues, even though the U.S. Constitution and other federal laws protect workers and prohibit the unions’ money grab. That’s why the Goldwater Institute submitted comment to the Federal Labor Relations Authority last week opposing the National Treasury Employees Union’s request for rules and policy changes that would allow it to prevent its members from leaving the union or stop paying union dues unless they formally opt out within a narrow, annual window of time. In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court made clear in its landmark Janus decision that the First Amendment protects the freedom to associate—or not to associate—for “expressive purposes.” The Court held that “[n]either an agency fee nor any other payment to the union may be deducted from a nonmember’s wages, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay.” And such consent must be proven by “clear and compelling evidence,” a high legal hurdle for government employers.

    Supreme Court Misses an Opportunity to Protect Workers from Public-Sector Unions

    January 26, 2023 // The Supreme Court decided today that it will not grant certiorari in the case Wright v. SEIU Local 503, one of several union-forgery cases currently working their way through the court system. By not hearing the case, the Court is allowing confusion about public-sector workers’ constitutional rights to persist. The Freedom Foundation, a conservative union-watchdog group, has found about a dozen cases where unions allegedly forged someone’s signature in order to keep taking money from their paycheck. Though it may seem like a simple question, lower-court rulings have failed to address the issue head-on.

    Michigan Right-to-Work Repeal Bills Are Unconstitutional

    January 19, 2023 // “A state legislature cannot overturn a U.S. Supreme Court interpretation of First Amendment rights,” said Patrick Wright, vice president for legal affairs at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. “These bills show a grave lack of understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the rights of public employees. This attempt to put forth blatantly unconstitutional legislation is concerning.” The Mackinac Center is also opposed to House Bill 4005, which would repeal right-to-work for private sector employees. Senate Bill 5 and House Bill 4004

    Forgery Cases Give Supreme Court Opportunity to Hold Unions Accountable for Shady Tactics

    January 18, 2023 // aken collectively, the forgery cases clearly suggest a coordinated strategy on the part of unions panicked into breaking the law at the prospect of losing hundreds of millions of dollars in dues money when members they’ve spent decades preying on discover that the power to decide about workplace representation has always been in their own hands. The Supreme Court made its intentions in Janus crystal clear. Public employees have an iron-clad First Amendment right to keep their jobs even if they choose to have nothing to do with a union.

    Rhode Island Teacher Unconstitutionally Forced to Choose Between Job and Union

    January 10, 2023 // Despite glowing teacher evaluations, John Lancellotta, a public school teacher in Rhode Island, lost his job after exercising his First Amendment right to opt out of his union. By forcing John to choose between supporting the union and keeping his job, the school placed an unconstitutional condition on his employment.

    Strikes And Rallies In The Workplace: Essex County 2022 Year In Review

    January 3, 2023 // But despite their concerns, the percentage of workers in labor unions grew in New Jersey over the following year. New Jersey had about 600,000 union members in 2020, roughly 16.1 percent of all wage and salary workers in the state. The total was up from 15.7 percent in 2019 and 14.9 percent in 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.


    December 22, 2022 // In all three cases, dues continued to be deducted from the plaintiffs’ paychecks long after they requested to opt out because the union claimed they had signed a membership form stipulating they could only leave during a two-week annual window. In fact, none of the workers had signed any such authorization and, when the unions were forced to provide documentation, each turned out to be a crude forgery. Zielinski v. SEIU 503, Wright v. SEIU 503, Cindy Ochoa,

    Metro officer asks US Supreme Court to hear suit over union fees

    December 22, 2022 // Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, said it will take months to know if the Supreme Court will hear the lawsuit. He said that since the 2018 ruling, unions have been using restriction periods like the one in Metro’s collective bargaining agreement to determine when someone can resign from a union and stop paying dues. The petition argued that the 20-day resignation period was enacted in a new collective bargaining agreement from July 2019, and that the only form she signed authorizing dues deductions was in 2006.

    Teacher Unions Suffer Pandemic Backlash

    December 13, 2022 // A big complaint of union members is that the National Education Association and its state affiliates report spending more than twice as much money on political expenditures than they do representing its members. According to a Freedom Foundation investigation, the Oregon Education Association (OEA) has lost just shy of one in five of its members. They have taken advantage of the 2018 Supreme Court ruling that mandatory union dues violate public employees’ First Amendment rights