TImes Union: Coercion or freeloading? Panelists sound off on union court case

The U.S. Supreme Court's impending ruling in a landmark labor-relations case could deal a big blow to the power of public employee unions across the country, especially in a heavily-unionized state such as New York.

The concerns and questions raised by the case, Janus vs. AFSCME, were the subject of a panel hosted by the Empire Center for Public Policy on Wednesday. State Senator Diane Savino and Daniel DiSalvo, an assistant professor at the City College of New York, discussed the case at the Albany Capital Center and Capital Tonight host Liz Benjamin moderated the debate.

At issue is the ability of public-sector unions to collect mandatory "agency fees" from people they represent but who are not union members. New York has more than 1 million unionized public-sector workers. Dues can run from several hundred to $1,000 annually.

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