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Union dues and don'ts: Ending the public sector monopoly

March 04. 2018 9:02PM

You do not have to join a union to work for the state of New Hampshire.

You just have to pay.

The U.S. Supreme Court could remedy this injustice, and give public sector workers the choice of whether to give a piece of their paychecks to a union.

Gov. Chris Sununu’s effort to make New Hampshire a right-to-work state fell short in the House last year. But the Supremes could essentially deliver the same results, for state and municipal employees. At issue is whether the “agency fee” charged by unions to nonmembers amounts to compelled political speech, since the work of public sector labor unions is almost exclusively political.

Unions may not force workers to chip in political contributions, but public sector collective bargaining is an inherently political function.

Unions claim that free-riders will benefit from their negotiations without paying for the privilege. But there is no reason unions should maintain a monopoly on bargaining. They have insisted on speaking for nonmembers in order to bolster their political clout.

Sununu did not submit an amicus brief in the case, though he did tweet in support of the plaintiffs. In the Age of Trump, that’s practically a legal document.

We hope the court gives workers control over their own paychecks.

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