Headlines about the US Supreme Court’s ruling in the Janus case stressed the “blow” to public-sector unions, but government workers were big winners. Taxpayers, too.
The court said employees who don’t join unions shouldn’t have to pay “agency fees,” even though the unions bargain on their behalf. That’s partly because, under the law, nonunion workers have no choice but to let the unions negotiate for them; they’re not allowed to represent themselves or have another union go to bat for them.
More important, the court ruled, forcing nonmembers to support a union — and, in effect, its political views — via a fee violates their free-speech rights. The plaintiff, Mark Janus, an Illinois state worker, refused to join his union because he opposed its positions. He was being made to pay to promote views he disagreed with.