The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is a union that purports to help service employees — like janitors — to collectively bargain with their employers. Sounds good, right? Well, the reality is far, far, from that ideal.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in a 5-4 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME against the union. George Will described the case:
In 1977, the Court upheld, 6–3, the constitutionality of compelling government employees who exercise their right not to join a union to pay “fair share” or “agency” fees. These, which the union determines, supposedly cover only the costs of collective bargaining from which nonmembers benefit. But the payments usually are much more than half of, and sometimes equal to, dues that members pay.
The majority opinion in 1977 admitted something that was too obvious to deny and so constitutionality problematic that a future challenge was inevitable. That majority said: “There can be no quarrel with the truism that, because public employee unions attempt to influence government policymaking, their activities…may be properly termed political.” And one justice, concurring with the majority, said “the ultimate objective of a union in the public sector, like that of a political party, is to influence public decision-making.” (Emphasis added.)
Actually, everything public-sector unions do is political. Therefore, the 1977 decision made compulsory political contributions constitutional. Which made the Court queasy.
If it makes the Court sick, think about how it made service employees. Justice Elena Kagan explained why this 1977 decision needed to be corrected:
There is no sugarcoating today’s opinion. The majority overthrows a decision entrenched in this nation’s law — and in its economic life — for over 40 years. As a result, it prevents the American people, acting through their state and local officials, from making important choices about workplace governance. And it does so by weaponizing the First Amendment, in a way that unleashes judges, now and in the future, to intervene in economic and regulatory policy.
In reality, Janus prevailing is a blessing in disguise — a correction that was long overdue. Unions were born to work towards better and safer working conditions, and better wages and compensation for their members, not for union bosses and staff. In the 21st Century, unions have turned away from their core reasons for existence and instead have involved themselves — and members’ dues — in just about every political social justice cause under the sun. They also used member dues to pad their pockets with yearly salary and benefit increases but gave nothing back to dues-paying members.
In Oregon, SEIU Local 503 spends millions of dollars of members’ dues on political activities while members are left waiting as many as seven days to get their calls returned. That’s just one example of the inefficiencies and misplaced priorities.
Wow. This man has a backbone of steel to criticize the SEIU. And he wasn’t even close to being done. He detailed some instances of union hypocrisy and ended his piece like this:
Those who want to play politics and fight for social justice are still free to do so, but only on their own dime and own time. The Janus decision will force changes upon SEIU Local 503 as revenue collection is projected to be drastically reduced. Had SEIU Local 503 stuck to their founding principles, that would never have happened because members would want to stay and not run for the hills at first opportunity.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
This official’s courage shows that a new day is dawning in America. The unions are losing their grasp on the American worker’s wallet, and the nation is realizing just how irrelevant they actually are.
Image Credit: (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Angelita Lawrence)
Hat Tip: OregonLive