Union Squeezes Workers Into Paying Dues Even When They Want to Stop

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Workers, under the precedent-setting Janus ruling, have been assured they cannot be forced to be a union member or pay a union’s dues.

It was during the administration of President Trump that he ordered the Federal Labor Relations Authority to set up procedures for workers to opt-in, or out, of those organizations.

Now, however, under Joe Biden, the FLRA is trying to backtrack.

The fight is over a new plan by unions to make it extremely difficult for workers to opt out of union payments.

According to a report from the Goldwater Institute, which is fighting the new changes, the situation is dire.

“Imagine you belong to an organization that has access to your paycheck and will not let you stop paying membership dues unless you beg for permission during a very narrow period and jump through numerous other technical hoops. Sound unfair? Now imagine your employer is the one who set up this whole arrangement.” the institute reported.

It’s a “powerful public-sector union [that] is trying to impose that precise predatory scheme on all federal employees through administrative regulations—rules imposed by a federal agency controlled by Biden-appointed commissioners that have the force of law.”

Goldwater reports it is the National Treasury Employees Union, representing more than 150,000 federal workers in dozens of government agencies, that “wants to make it difficult for people to leave and stop paying dues, even though the U.S. Constitution and other federal laws protect workers and prohibit the unions’ money grab.”

The institute said it has submitted comments to the FLRA opposing rule changes that could prevent union members “from leaving the union or stop paying union dues unless they formally opt out within a narrow, annual window of time.”

The Supreme Court in its 2018 Janus case found “the First Amendment protects the freedom to associate—or not to associate—for ‘expressive purposes.'”

It said, “[n]either an agency fee or any other payment to the union may be deducted from a nonmember’s wages, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay.”

Before the ruling the FLRA allowed unions to “unfairly restrict” when and how workers could leave.

The Trump administration ordered that change, but the federal agency, under Joe Biden’s administration, wants to restore those restrictions.

It argued, “Just as employees may ‘form, join, or assist’ the union at will and without repercussion, they must also be allowed to ‘refrain from any such activity’ with the same expectation and protections—even if they engaged in union activity previously,” Goldwater reported.

“Restricting when an employee may terminate their union membership and rescind authorization for union dues deductions also violates key constitutional protections prohibiting such practices.”

Forcing workers to support a union “violates the First Amendment,” the briefing explained.

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