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Government Unions in the Crosshairs (Read More…)

Two suits seek to overturn 40-year-old precedent allowing for forced union dues, exclusive representation for government employees
BY: Bill McMorris June 6, 2017

The Supreme Court could revisit a 40-year-old precedent that allows government agencies to force public sector workers to pay union dues, an issue the court deadlocked on in 2016 following the sudden death of Antonin Scalia.

The National Right to Work Foundation will file two petitions on Tuesday with the high court challenging coercive dues schemes for government employees (Janus v. AFSCME), as well as monopoly bargaining rights for home health aides that receive Medicaid dollars (Hill v. SEIU). The suits seek to overturn Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, a 1977 case that enabled government agencies to require the payment of union dues or fees as conditions of employment.

Bill Messenger, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation’s lead attorney in both cases, told the Washington Free Beacon in an exclusive interview that the plaintiffs are petitioning the court to consolidate both cases, but, if given the chance, will ask to first consider Janus v. AFSCME before moving to Hill v. SEIU. Messenger said the plaintiffs are asking the court to resolve the question of “how far can you extend monopoly bargaining rights.”

“It’s the state’s burden to justify infringing on a worker’s association rights,” he said. “The key is there’s no difference between collectively bargaining with the government and lobbying the government. If you can’t force people to pay to lobby the government, then you can’t force them to pay union dues or exclusively bargain with them.”

Teamsters Spend Over A Week On Chicago’s Navy Pier Protesting Another Union (Read More…)

By Ted Goodman 05/28/2017
Security guards on Chicago’s iconic Navy Pier agreed to a set of restrictions as they continue to protest plans by a new security contractor to replace them with cheaper labor.

Teamsters Local 727, which represents 43 security, fire and safety officers that work on Navy Pier, filed an unfair labor practice charge against Navy Pier’s management company May 11 and went on strike May 18. The union said that Navy Pier, Inc. (NPI) intimidated the union in its efforts to protect the jobs of its members.

Allied Universal, which took over from a previous contractor in mid-May, refused to recognize the union’s collective bargaining agreement, according to Local 727. “We are astonished at how mean-spirited NPI is toward the Pier’s dedicated public safety employees,” said John Coli Jr., president of Local 727. “After all, people’s livelihoods are at stake here and NPI’s executives refuse to recognize that by hiring another security vendor in the hopes that it won’t honor the current collective bargaining agreement.”

Local 727 is concerned that Allied wants to bring in workers at $13 an hour through Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Teamsters said it was ironic that the SEIU is leading the fight for $15, but is being used by Allied to lower wages for security guards at the pier.

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