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Compulsory Unionization Pushback Week

January 10, 2012


This week shaping up as a big week for news about compulsory unionization.

As noted in previous blog posts that can be found here and here, the Indiana state legislature is taking up a right to work law that would criminalize union security agreements. The measure should come up for a vote in both houses of the legislature. On Monday, Democratic Representatives ended their three day boycott which could permit a vote on the measure. Republicans hold a 60-40 vote in the Indiana House.

Today, the United States Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral argument in Knox v. SEIU Local 1000. That case takes up whether a state may condition employment on payment of a union special assessment for political and ideological expenditures without first providing notice and an opportunity to object and, more generally, can state employment be conditioned upon the payment of union fees that are used for ballot measures. The Knox case arose in the context of a temporary dues increase the SEIU imposed upon California employees in order to fight ballot initiatives designed to reign in union power within the state. A District Court in California had held that the SEIU had violated the state employees' rights. A 2-1 majority of the Ninth Circuit had reversed that ruling. The Supreme Court should decide the case later this year.


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