On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) issued its decision in the matter of Harris v. Quinn. In its decision not to exempt all public workers from paying union dues, it was nevertheless apparent that workers were handed a victory over unions (see Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Challengers to Union Fees, But Avoids Broad Ruling and Workers were Handed a Victory Over Unions). In a 5-4 ruling following political lines, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that just because home healthcare workers received Medicaid payments they were not employees of a government agency and subject to forced unionism or required to pay dues because of supposed union representation. The irony of this is that many of the home healthcare workers are independent contractors, not state workers, who have been forced to pay forced union dues because of the SEIU’s close political ties to former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. It could have been much worse for organized labor if SCOTUS had determined, as it should have, that no public employees should be forced to be part of the union or pay union affiliation/representation fees. Due to the narrow ruling, Big Labor was able to Dodge a Bullet with SCOTUS!
The decision of SCOTUS in Harris v. Quinn will ultimately cost the SEIU an estimated $50 Million in lost revenue. The SEIU recently took a similar hit when the Michigan legislature repealed a law similar to that in question in Harris v. Quinn (see SEIU Shows It Is Not About Employee Free Choice). The SEIU has been reaping large dues payments in states like California, as discussed in It’s All About the Dues Money. This decision will result in a significant drop in dues income, designed to line its pockets and support its political buddies. Make no mistake, this decision will have a profound affect on Big Labor’s ability to support its political allies with funds and foot soldiers in the November 2014 Election.
Monday’s ruling is only the beginning of a conundrum facing Big Labor. Rank and file members across the country are fed up with Big Labor using their dues payments for political activities with which they disagree. Throughout the month of June, disgruntled SEIU and UAW members in California and Michigan have been on a mission to have “Non Germane Objector” (NGO) dues removed from the monthly dues being deducted from their paychecks. If successful, these reductions would decrease dues, and subsequently SEIU and UAW revenues by reportedly 35%. Brave members, such as Mariam Noujaim and Lisa Garcia, whose stories are chronicled in The Devil at Our Doorstep, and Brian Pannbecker, a cofounder of Union Conservatives, the organization responsible for the grass roots effort for Michigan become the 24th Right-To-Work State, have led the charge in these highly unionized states. Their efforts are further documented at www.occupyseiu.com and www.unionconservatives.com.
These bold actions, by responsible rank and file members of the SEIU and the UAW, as well as Harris and her band of home healthcare workers, will significantly affect the Big Labor Gasping Dinosaurs and their Symbiotic Relationship that Short Changes Americans! These brave hero’s victories will undoubtedly be evident as Administration and Big Labor Desperation Escalates prior to the 2014 Mid Term Elections.
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David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.