The U.S. Supreme Court sided against Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000 on the matter of due increases without proper notice. Dianne Knox and other non-members of the SEIU forced into a fair-share union dues situation because they work in a closed-shop, objected to a $12 million special assessment from California public employees, according to Associated Press excerpts republished on Breitbart. The court ruled earlier today that SEIU had not given the legally required notice that such an increase was forthcoming.
Both the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and SEIU officials maintained the notice given complied with existing laws, but the high court saw the matter differently. The Supreme Court voted 7-2 against SEIU in a decision written by Justice Samuel Alito. The court rejected the union’s argument based upon First Amendment grounds, Forbes reports. SEIU will not be permitted to charge non-members for political activities even if the government employes are later refunded.
A 48-page Supreme Court opinion noted that employees can be mandated to pay dues in “exchange for benefits they get from collective bargaining.” The document goes on to report that public employees cannot be forced to “effectively lend money to the union for political activities they disagree with.” Forbes considers the Supreme Court decision a big blow to SEIU. The public employees union first attempted to argue that the case was “moot” because the organization was willing to offer refunds. According to court opinion document excerpts republished by Forbes, SEIU then decided it would be “too difficult” to garner the “assent of non-members” before initiating a political campaign to “defeat legislation it considered a “threat to its existence.”
Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsberg joined in the final judgment but noted they believed the court’s ruling “went too far” by mandating public employees unions must create an “opt-in” system for mandating dues for special assessments instead of the current “opt-out” policy.