After the U.S. Supreme Court ruling today in the Janus v. State, County and Municipal Employees (16-1466), Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle, South Park) released the following statement echoing the frustrations and concerns of workers everywhere that this ruling will have long-term detrimental effects on public sector unions:
“The Court’s stunning reversal of the 1977 Abood decision today shows that ideology rather than legal principle have guided the Court’s decision.
“The unanimous decision of the Abood case established that membership dues cannot be used to pay for political activity; however, it allowed that unions could still collect membership dues in exchange for collective bargaining and other ‘apolitical services.’
“Right-to-work laws create an inequitable ‘free-rider’ problem where some unfairly benefit from the union-negotiated contract without contributing to the costs associated with those negotiations. The Janus decision erodes our unions’ ability to negotiate on behalf of their workers for better pay, benefits, working conditions, and a host of other issues impacting workers doing critical work contributing to the public good.
“I stand in solidarity with my union sisters and brothers against this ruling and against right-to-work laws which require workers to bargain in an inequitable, ineffective, and unsustainable manner.”