Trump Admin. Opposes Mandatory Union Fees in High Court Case

Solicitor General, Noel Francisco. (AP/Photo)

December 7, 2017
OAN Newsroom

The Trump administration is urging the Supreme Court to allow non-union workers in the public sector to refuse paying union fees.

The White House agrees with the DOJ on a case against unions brought by an Illinois non-union government employee.

The plaintiff claims “collective bargaining” fees violate free-speech rights of non-union workers.

This reverses the previous administration’s stance on unions.

Solicitor General Noel Francisco said the Supreme Court should overturn a 1977 ruling allowing public sector unions in 22 states to demand fees from non-union workers.

Francisco said the rule forces these employees to back unions that might not push for their priorities.

  • Robert J Dale Jr

    The problem with the whole union issue began with the politicization of our union halls backing a particular party and not always being focused on the labor movement that tries to create a fair and balanced work environment for their members without regard to race, creed, sex, etc. The rates are negotiated on behalf of the members by representatives from management and the labor force not individually. That means you don’t have to worry about being discriminated against because your status (at least in the construction trades ) is based on tested evaluation of skills from apprenticeship to journeyman. If you pass your assessment tests your pay goes up accordingly to the bargaining agreement not by how good of friends you are with the boss. I do not have experience with how they handle things within the public sector union employees but in the trades, if you are an effective worker that makes the contractor you are working for able to remain competitive and the work is there, together you stand a better chance of having work tomorrow. Dues that are assessed are like taxes only without dealing with the ITS forms. That is collectively bargained forming the compensation package that includes your pension, insurance, wages and the costs of the union hall, apprenticeship classes, continuing education, and the representatives that are there to settle labor disputes and define rules privy to the bargaining agreement. If you do not want to be a member of a union, it is a free country for you to choose not to be. If you choose, however not to be represented by a collective bargaing agreement, those benefits that I have mentioned are not guaranteed outside of that membership. As a card carrying member of the IBEW, I have enjoyed the benefits of top notch training, education, and a living wage because of the dues that I and the rest of our members pay as part of our collective bargaining agreement to maintain the standards and hopefully improve the skills that we have to benefit the customers we serve.

  • America First

    So all the Freedom loving Americans here,think that American workers should Not be allowed to have collective barganing ,but corporations can collude to do as they please,(The US Chamber of Commerce among others)and that where they exist a worker should have the right to benefit from the CB but not be required to pay what others do and still be entitled to the higher pay and benefits that the unions negotiated…oh I get it you advocate Worker Welfare..your a disgrace..this country was built by Union workers and has until recent years been staunch Republicans..your fathers,grandsfathers were Union..Do Not Forget It!

  • Spike Team Idaho

    Have all the pension obligations of unionized employees stick handled over to the unions themselves. Instead of paying 7 figure salaries to 3 fingers Tony, not to mention innumerable political donations, they can funnel the money to where it belongs… the workers pensions.

  • Alan Lindquist

    no due’s no benefits . end of the line for a job……..

  • Homer Simpson

    Why should non-union members be forced to campaign for a political party they don’t support …. or pay any money to an organization that they’re not a member of

  • Theo Stall

    WIth the thousands of Labor Laws on the books and millions of litigation
    attorneys clamoring to sue someone, UNIONS are actually obsolete.

  • Opinionsgiven

    Trouble is with Unions they use dues to promote an agenda that not all members support politically! They should not be allowed to support any political agendas – PERIOD!

  • Ed Elliott

    This the key to draining the swamp. Stop the public service unions from funneling money the the democratic party and you starve the beast.

  • Lord Cornbread

    Public sector unions should be abolished.

    • Deny

      ALL unions should be abolished.

      • Bud

        That’s going a bit too far. Freedom of association and all that. However, unions should not be able to hold hostage those who make the investments that actually lead to jobs being created.

  • tonysprout

    WHY do employee unions NOT pay federal taxes, yet get to advocate political speech, but churches cannot advocate political speech? Yes, i know why..see LBJ story. According to Ny Times, “Under the provision, which was made in 1954, tax-exempt entities like churches and charitable organizations are unable to directly or indirectly participate in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate. Specifically, ministers are restricted from endorsing or opposing candidates from the pulpit. If they do, they risk losing their tax-exempt status.” Pres Trump has vowed to eliminate this law. I hope he succeeds

    • Bud

      tax-exempt entities like churches and charitable organizations are
      unable to directly or indirectly participate in any political campaign
      on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate. Specifically,
      ministers are restricted from endorsing or opposing candidates from the
      pulpit.

      And yet this is not enforced against black churches or even the liberal “mainline” Protestant churches.

  • One_way

    The teachers in the city of Rochester NY graduate about 48% of the students EACH YEAR but the crap teachers can’t be removed because the union protects their lazy ass! In the meantime they push thousands of kids onto the street with no HS diploma who can’t get jobs. They live off the taxpayers or turn to crime! NO MORE UNIONS!

  • One_way

    Unions do nothing but line the pockets of the union leaders and politicians!

  • Ed of Ct.

    That would finish Trump as President. Forty seven to fifty percent of Union people voted for him. In the last election. They will Not do so again in the next election , period !!!

    • Bud

      Oh, so it never occurred to you that 47 to 50% of union members disagree with the law and would like it to be overturned?

      • Ed of Ct.

        Without unions you have no middle class. Non Union jobs often have no health insurance or defined benefit pension or 40 hr. work week. .This is why we have Obama care and a collapsing social security pension system . Period ….. If you do not pay Union dues etc .. then you are NOT entitled to the benefits and wages negotiated by the union at USPS for instance..

  • airstart

    Right to work states are a joke, I had no interest in joining the union, and wasn’t required to in a right to work state, however, I still had to pay union dues. The Aerospace/ Machinist union has it fixed that way so there’s no point in not joining the union, you will pay dues anyway. The Plumber/ Steamfitter union was even worse, you couldn’t even apply for a job in a union shop as an individual, on your own work experience and merit. These closed union shops hired directly from the union. I don’t care what they call it, it sux, and it does not represent anything like free market capitalism. You had to play the union game or restrict your job search to non union shops. The unions are just another bloated bureaucracy no different than gov’t bureaucracies, just as inefficient, just as useless.

  • Brad

    A happy work group doesn’t need to seek organizating into a union.

  • Paul H

    I am 100% in favor of that! Being a public sector employee that has to join a union, I’m sick and tired of paying dues to a union that doesn’t do a damn thing! As a matter of fact, our union presented us with a tentative agreement today that grants us a one time bonus payout and the “promise” to negotiate salary increases over the next three years even though a recent salary survey found that we are under paid from the MEDIAN salary of 11 surrounding counties by as much as 20%! Unions are worthless!

    • Bud

      What the 11 surrounding counties can afford to pay does not necessarily mean that YOUR county can.

      • Paul H

        Uh, yes they can! Our county has millions in surplus AND the tax base in our county is HIGHER than in about half of the surrounding counties that were taken into consideration! Why would you make a comment on something that you know absolutely nothing about?

  • Robert Adams

    Has nothing to do with union dues, more about the need for unions. Stick to the subject.

  • Robert Adams

    THEIR CREDIBILITY Bet you didn’t graduate from grade school.

  • Chad Eiermann

    Growing up I believed that Unions were connected to and controlled by the Mafia. The Mafia used Union money to buy their way into politics. Unions have supported mostly Democrats for decades. We know what happens when you mess with the Mafia’s money. Extra security if you go down that road President Trump.

  • Ed L

    Unions came about due to lack of laws protecting workers. But there must also be additional laws changed or pass the prevents companies from firing worker due to complaints from outside the workforce (example consumer complaints against hospital workers from patients and or family.

    • Bud

      Why do you feel that complaints against hospital workers from patients and or family should be disregarded?

  • Bill Jordan

    Do away with pubilc sector unions.

    • Andrew Moore8

      You can’t. It’s their right to unionize…..But you shouldn’t be forced to pay union dues if you don’t want to like I have to in my job. My union has failed to file at least 2 grievances on my behalf and has refused to attend a disciplinary meeting with management….but yet they demand that I pay them monthly to represent me….It makes absolutely no sense to me.

      • Bud

        And yet they did not have the “right” to unionize prior to JFK’s executive order permitting them to do so.
        Even if employees have the right to unionize, that in no way means that public officials are required to “bargain” with them.

  • PatriotInk

    The union bosses are fighting this tooth, and nail. They want more paying dues so they can go on their extravagant vacations to have “meetings.”

    • Andrew Moore8

      But the union members like me are supporting this because our “union bosses” no longer represent us the workers but instead run the union like a corporation where they take care of the union not the members.

      • PatriotInk

        Well said!

  • mark abby

    The only unions that should be abolished are the civil workers unions. Politicians have given them golden pensions, high wages, and power. This includes teachers unions as well. Additionally, civil unions are funded by tax dollars, while private unions are funded by corporations or businesses who don’t have the luxury of an open wallet.

    No union should be forced upon any worker if they choose not to join and no union should use any part of the dues collected to support an elected person.

  • tophat1984

    There is no such thing as a ‘union’ in the American workplace- there’s just a lot of extortion in the skilled-labor market..

  • Hummer

    I worked a career in a security position that was mandatory union dues that supported politicians like HRC-I tried to get my money back but could not figure out how to jump the hoops to do so. No forcing unions on anyone period. You know the pressure members can exert on those who don’t-in the past to violence which also can be a real problem.

  • TYvets

    I believe union membership should be optional, public or private sector.

  • Linda Griffin

    Unions are like the government. When my husband belonged to one years ago they forced him to donate to some members by not accepting his dues unless he did. When he was in the same position as those members, there was no money donated to him.

  • Donald York

    You want to see what a Government union is?Walk into any VA.. A lot of the workers i have great respect for, but some of the employees are there because their union protects their awful behavior.

  • fatboy46

    Unions- the last bastion of Communism. George Meany spent the first half of his career fighting for the working mans rights to have a union. Then spent the last half fighting to take that right away and FORCE him to be union- because that is the only way Unions can survive- – ALL workers must be union!! ergo- all workers strive to be the average man. Work the least for the most $. Avoid ANYthing that is not under the agreement…” Mediocrity”- The main flag of Unionism.

  • s7rabin

    Additionally, why not the private sector? Make the unions voluntary in the private sector. Unions are a 3rd party, hard to trust and wasteful of resources.

  • Frank Meccia

    You should not be forced to pay union fees provided, you are willing to forgo some union benefits..This would be union pensions instead of Social Security. Unions have done there job, over 50 years ago. Instead,they have become liberal talking heads to push there agendas/. Time to end them

  • Bud

    Unions claim that they are entitled to the fees because the law requires that they bargain on behalf of all employees, whether they are union members or not, yet the unions adamantly oppose changing the law so that they must bargain only on behalf of their members.
    My dislike for unions, and I was required to be a union member for some 15 years, is that they have long been little more than a political adjunct of the Democrat/CPUSA Party. Our monthly union magazine was a house organ for that party, and I disagreed with probably 85% of the union’s positions on various issues.

  • Sh Venus

    unions ruined europe already

  • westriversd1

    Public sector unions should be illegal in the first place. They spend millions of dollars supporting their favorite Democrats who they then “collective bargain” with for their pay raises and benefits. Nothing like hiring your own bosses and letting them know that if. they don’t deal with you the next election they won’t support you. Ridiculous.

    • Butthep

      CWA spent $100M for Democrats

  • Butthep

    Union bosses use union due like their own money.

  • C B

    The Unions destroyed themselves . They screwed the American Workers . They took hundreds of Millions of Dollars collected as dues and misappropriated it , or gave it away to corrupt Politicians . What they should have done with the Money is , bolstered the Pension Funds , Health Care Funds and Unemployment Funds . The Unions never had any business getting involved with Politics . They were supposed to be ” IN HOUSE ” and serve their Workers ! PERIOD !

    • LP in AK

      Well said

  • Sui-Juris

    All “collective bargaining” ought to be done outside of the work place, through third parties, having been voluntary sought by the individual worker. Just like you would shop for any other service.

    • PatriotInk

      “Wage extortion.” Well put!!!

  • brad m

    No one should be forced to pay union fees regardless!!

    • iwontell

      As luck would have it there are several “right to work” states.

      • brad m

        Yep, I live in one of them

  • Serge

    It is clear racketeering. Unions are killing free market and shutting down America. It is a cancer and precursor for communism.

  • Roscoe

    Union dues are allowing taxation by a non government entity. Union’s are now a parasitical curse.

  • No Mas

    Union fees should be voluntary, after all this is the USA, not LIBERTARD COMMUNIST FANTASYLAND!

    • Serge

      In that case, unions would survive only few days, before they go bankrupt.

      • Burrito Smith

        What a loss……

      • Flagfriend

        Precisely.

      • iwontell

        GOOD – the LEECHES steal your money and etc etc etc

      • Jimthefoodguy

        Excellent solution!

    • Robert Adams

      If the non-union members are bound by the union negotiations and benefit financially or in the work place, fees are justifiable.

      • Sui-Juris

        Nope. Taking fees from people who don’t want your service is extortion. Union contracts have always inhibited the pay and benefits I merited through my labor and ability to negotiate my own value of my labor.

        • Robert Adams

          Answer the question of whether a non-union employee who doesn’t pay dues should benefit from union negotiated pay raises, vacation plans, working hours.

          • Sui-Juris

            Answer the question Is this the union with a rep on the floor or as in my comment a separate non affiliate third party who represents paying clients?

          • CCTexas

            Non-union employees should not have to pay dues period. Whether they receive a benefit from the union or not. This is used to be a free country. If the Union negotiates a benefit, that benefit should only apply to its members. If employees see that paying Union dues is a benefit to them, then they should be free to join the Union. If, after joining the Union, they see their dues being wasted and no longer wish to be a member of the Union, then they should have the right to quit the Union membership. At NO TIME, should an employee be coerced into joining a Union. There should be no more intimidation of non-union members of any kind nor sort. If an employee complains of intimidation by a Union or its members, the Union should be removed from that Company, PERIOD.

          • Robert Adams

            That is an example of freeloading. That equates non-union members with welfare recipients – reaping benefits from the work of others. (End of further
            discussion with anyone. Merry Christmas.)

          • CCTexas

            No, not free-loading, just freedom of choice. Welfare recipients also have a choice. As much as you seem to like an enslaved society, we are not there yet.

      • Edman

        Kinda like the so called “tax” that is paid by individuals who choose to not buy government mandated health insurance?

      • Brucew56

        The MAJOR beneficiaries are union LEADERSHIP, not the membership.

        • Robert Adams

          Should a non-union employee benefit from the raise package, from the new hours package, etc. without paying dues? Interesting argument.

          • Zotus

            Should a lazy unproductive person receive the same pay, benefits, etc. as an individual who is productive with good work ethic simply because he/she is a union member?

          • iwontell

            I’ve seen that in the Postal System………a Postmaster tried to FIRE SOME LAZY SOB’s that could take all day, even overtime, to do a 3 hour route……..
            The SOB’s sued the Postmaster……and the Unions A*** managed to keep BUMS on the job with a BONUS paid…….what a JOKE.

          • colin grant

            You can fire anyone for cause you just have to document properly.

          • ceepee3

            Except a congressman………. they are there for life. Unless they use their Wiener in the wrong way…….

          • LP in AK

            Does the union negotiate or defend a non union employee in grievances? Answer: no. Does
            That affect your argument that non union employees (or those wishing to be) are represented by union benefits?

          • Robert Adams

            Never said or asked that. Reread. I asked if non-union employees should benefit from improvements negotiated by the union.

        • iwontell

          E X A C T L Y
          You might call it LEGAL FRAUD………….or Highway Robbery.

      • Bud

        Not as long as unions are a subsidiary of the Democrat/CPUSA Party.

      • Ed

        Having done a great deal of work in NYC, Chicago, LA and other union labor dominated cities, the following truths come from union worker’s themselves; (1) Because construction costs are so high and union-structured labor inefficiencies such a problem many fewer projects are ever started. Net this means there is a far smaller pool of work and thus fewer jobs available for workers. (2) The amount of union dues and other fees taken from workers is far greater than any reduction in pay due to a lack of collective bargaining…that is what many union works have told me. Workers would take home far more without the unions. (3) The number of pension funds stolen or squandered by union leadership is legion leaving workers without their pensions. (4) In a meritocracy, the better workers are paid FAR more than the mediocre. Who gave anyone the right to actively prevent the best workers from taking better care of their families? How is that OK? (5) Unions are virtually always democrat leaning. Who gave anyone the right to force people to support one side or the other…yet that is what mandatory union dues does. Unions had their day but that day is long past and far overshadowed by decades of criminality and corruption.

        • Robert Adams

          The unions associated with construction have been a corrupting influence mainly because of mob ties.

          • Ed

            You make a very good point. I do not think the mob was in unions when mining, steel and other industries were abusing workers and collective bargaining started. The the large racketeering organizations came in when they realized the power and cash generation of the union structure. Unfortunately, unions are basically all bad now. “Single shop” associations with open elections are a far better means of collective bargaining today. Then again, worker mobility and competition for workers is the best means of insuring decent treatment of workers.

    • Sane_Person37

      Unions should be abolished as they have done the job they were intended to do decades ago. All they do now is hold the country hostage.

      • UptownnwotpU

        Vaccines should be abolished as they have done the job they were intended to do decades ago.

        • Sane_Person37

          zero correlation.

          • UptownnwotpU

            I just mean the argument structure is kind of the same. If you abolish unions (the vaccine), the problems that existed before will come back (the disease). We should reform unions, not abolish them. That would be a huge over-correction.

          • Don E. Sr.

            I don,t know how many union workers exist , but why should they have an advantage over non-union workers. Also why should unions be able to support voting blocs not necessarily endorsed by their members.

          • Tango Uniform

            They are too busy abolishing themselves. Longshoremen in Portland, OR argued with an electrical union over the responsibilities of one person. Eventually, the port Terminal 6 closed, eliminating every longshoreman and electrician. The place became a giant weed-infested parking lot. Liberalism, the mental illness, is contagious.

      • Dan Tandan

        and force US taxpayers to pay exorbitant union pensions, cf illinois, calif hawaii connecticut to the brink of bankruptcy

        • Sane_Person37

          The biggest insult of all being the government unions.

      • Theo Stall

        SO TRUE!! WIth the thousands of Labor Laws on the books and millions of litigation attorneys clamoring to sue someone, UNIONS are actually obsolete.

        • Sane_Person37

          Exactly.

      • antiliberal00

        I don’t have a problem with unions in the private sector as our market economy can keep them in check. On the public side, I have serious issues as politicians use our tax dollars to reward the unions for electing them. They reap the benefits and we get the bill.
        Reminds me of welfare.

        • Sane_Person37

          I don’t have as much of a problem with private, as if we don’t like the UAW we can simply not buy their product or work for them but as Theo Stall said above, there really isn’t any need for them anymore with the laws in place.

  • stevens123

    Seems reasonable to me. Why should anyone be forced to pay a third party to go to work? If the unions did such a good job, people would willingly pay dues.

    • Burrito Smith

      Kinda sounds like the mob now, doesn’t it?

      • Huks

        They are about the same thing.

  • NickSJ

    “the rule forces these employees to back unions that might not push for their priorities.”

    Or, actually, unions push for the opposite of their priorities.

  • disqus_pL8ZwxQNi3

    Unions had their day and they brought about some positive things. However, they started becoming the mafia and joined with the dems to forward their mafia agenda. They need to fail now.

    • stevens123

      Unions take credit for a lot of workplace changes they had nothing to do with: healthcare, 5 day work week, safety standards to name a few.

  • AKJammer

    Great news unions are a thing of the past and set unrealistic expectations from many employers. Having to pay dues and not be in the union nothing more than extortion, kind of like the ACA…