High court seems skeptical of mandatory public union fees

Jan 11, 2016 5:46 PM by News Staff

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court appears ready to deal a major blow to organized labor as it considers the free speech rights of government workers who say they shouldn't be forced to pay fees to public sector unions.

The high court's conservative justices on Monday seemed likely to overrule a four-decade old precedent that allows public unions to collect mandatory fees from non-members to help cover the costs of collective bargaining.

A group of California public school teachers claims those "fair share" fees violate the First Amendment rights of workers who disagree with the union's positions.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said the current system compels teachers to support issues they don't agree with. Chief Justice John Roberts said even mundane issues over expense implicate public policy issues.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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