This week, the supreme court heard a case that will probably decimate American unions by going after them in the one bastion they have left, the public sector.
The case, Janus v AFSCME, promises to be the most consequential judicial decision for the US labor movement in a generation. The Republican-leaning court is widely expected to overturn 40 years of legal precedent by outlawing a major source of funding for public employees’ unions, called agency fees.
The fact that few people know what these fees are works in the favor of conservative groups which have been pushing anti-union legislation and lawsuits under the guise of defending workers against “compulsory union membership.” There is, in fact, no such thing: nowhere in the US can workers be compelled to join a union, nor contribute money to unions’ political activities.
Read the full article at The Guardian and view a related interview with Michael Paarlberg on Rising Up with Sonali below.
Michael Paarlberg is an associate fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies, an assistant professor of political science at Virginia Commonwealth University, and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. He has written for the New Republic, Slate, In These Times, Jacobin, and the Washington City Paper. Follow Michael on Twitter @Mpaarlberg