The ruling, Quinn v Harris, put a stop to the practice of forcing people like home health care providers, who are often caring for relatives, into joining a union and paying mandatory dues. The nation, and workers like Ms. Harris who brought the suit against the state of Illinois, is better for this victory.
A number of states with liberal Democratic governors and legislatures – California being the most prominent – had passed rules requiring labor union membership and dues. That’s all over now.
A Service Employees International Union (SEIU) local in Washington State informed one such member that he or she would no longer be forced to pay dues. The union also indicated that it would explore refunding the dues payments already withdrawn from the member’s stipends.
“In light of the uncertainty created by the United States Supreme Court’s June 30, 2014, decision in Harris v. Quinn, the union has asked the State to cease deduction of your fair-share fees. No such fees will be deducted from your future paychecks,” the July 8 letter said.
In the wake of the Quinn Harris ruling, the NRTW Foundation began filing similar suits in other states with similar practices. The SEIU in Massachusetts and Minnesota ended the dues schemes before those cases could proceed to trial, an acknowledgement that they could not survive the precedent established in Quinn v. Harris.
This decision will cost unions like SEIU and AFSCME up to 500,000 members at about $500 per year each. That adds up to about $250 million in lost dues and lost donations to the Democratic Party.
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