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Union dues: Should state be collection agent?

December 03. 2017 9:31PM

When the New Hampshire House returns in January, it will take up a bill that would get state government out of the union dues collection business.

HB 438, introduced this year by House Majority Leader Dick Hinch, would stop the practice of withholding dues from state employee paychecks, which would require unions representing those workers to collect those dues themselves.

It would not prohibit or restrict membership in unions in any way.

The House this year defeated a Right-to-Work bill that would have prevented unions from collecting dues from employees who do not wish to join. And the House Labor Committee is unanimously recommending that the House kill HB 438.

These pro-union, but anti-worker, policies may soon be overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Supremes have taken up a case, Janus v. AFSCME, that will reconsider a decades-old ruling that allows public sector unions to collect dues from nonmembers.

The Court was expected to make dues voluntary in 2015, but the death of Justice Antonin Scalia left it deadlocked 4-4. Justice Neil Gorsuch is expected to side with the Court’s conservative wing, and let government workers decide if they want to join, or fund, unions.

Hopefully, the Supreme Court will strike a blow for worker freedom, even if the New Hampshire House can’t resist political pressure from the state employees unions.

Labor Editorial State Government

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