What Does Supreme Court Ruling Against the SEIU Say About the Power of Unions in America?
The Supreme Court ruled this morning against the SEIU in a dispute over union dues being used for political causes. The issue stems from a case in California where state workers are forced to pay union dues even if they don’t join the union. Several such workers sued the Service Employees International Union over money that was used on political ads that the individual contributors did not agree with. The court this morning said that unions must give non-members the chance to opt out of paying for political issues they oppose.
Marc Thiessen, former chief speechwriter for President Bush, said on America Live that following Gov. Scott Walker’s win in the Wisconsin recall election this is another big blow to unions. “I think it’s a sign of the desperation of the union that they even went to the Supreme Court to fight for the right to compel non-union members to subsidize their political activities,” he said. He attributes this desperation to the fact that union membership is declining nationwide.
Simon Rosenberg claims that the decline is due to the fact that so many workers have been laid off. “The unions actually today have more clout in many ways than they did before because the Citizens United decision allows them to spend money directly on advertising and campaigns in a way that will allow them to control their narrative and their message more than before,” he said.