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It’s wrong to force people to abandon their rights

January 24, 2012
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith , Fairmont Sentinel

Americans ought to have the right to join labor unions and support them. But they also should have the right to say no to organized labor - and that is something denied to California government employees. The U.S. Supreme Court should change that.

Golden State government employees who choose not to join the Service Employees International Union - the liberal politician's best friend in organized labor - are free to stay out of it. But because California operates a closed shop, they still have to pay union dues.

And when the SEIU levies a special assessment to pay for political activities, the non-union workers have to pay it too. Many of them object to that. It is a clear infringement on their Constitutional rights, including freedom of speech.

Eight of the objectors filed a lawsuit over the issue. Arguments in it were heard last week by the Supreme Court, meaning the case could have broader implications nationwide.

Clearly, government is wrong to require all employees to pay union dues, even if they don't want to belong to the SEIU. Forcing them to pay special assessments to help the union support political causes with which they disagree is even worse.

This is a clear-cut case in which the union and California state government are wrong. Supreme Court justices should break up the cozy relationship and uphold Californians' right not to allow SEIU bosses to take their money.



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