If plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case are successful, Bryant said unions will have to counter the setback by pushing for greater union membership.
But the elevation of conservative Neil Gorsuch to the court by President Donald Trump a year ago is likely to prove a decisive factor this time around. And he says a significant percentage of current union members might choose to leave the union once the dues are no longer mandatory. The ninth, Justice Neil Gorsuch, didn't ask a single question or otherwise show his hand. Kennedy pointed out that public unions come down against privatization, against merit promotion. for massive government, for increasing bonded indebtedness, for increasing taxes..
"It's been bad public policy". "Those in the top 1% in corporate America do not like the fact that unions not only improve the lives of working men and women but they raise the standard of living and quality of life for all working people".
He says since being in office he's taken it upon himself to protect the rights of government workers. But overall, he said, a court ruling in favor of Janus could relieve some pressure on California taxpayers.
"Those contracts probably cover millions, maybe up to over 10 million workers", the liberal justice said.
"When have we ever done something like that?" In Janus v. AFSCME, the court will consider whether it's unconstitutional to require government employees to fund unions that represent them. He said he opposes his union's fight for wage and benefit increases when the state is "in pretty bad financial condition right now". On Monday, all eyes were on Scalia's replacement, Gorsuch, who could cast the deciding vote, but he stayed silent.
We didn't learn anything from this morning's argument in Janus v. AFSCME, which asks whether state laws that compel the payment of "agency fees" by nonmembers of public-sector unions violate the First Amendment by forcing those workers to support policy positions they don't like.
The court has a 5-4 conservative majority.
"When you compel somebody to speak, don't you infringe that person's dignity and conscience in a way that you do not when you restrict what the person says?" The argument for this law is that workers who are not in unions still benefit from the its collective bargaining powers.
"No matter what happens with this Janus decision ... we have power right here in San Francisco to keep our unions strong".
Observers generally believe that Gorsuch's conservative jurisprudence indicate he'll vote to end the mandatory dues, though attorneys for both sides told reporters afterwards that it was tough to get a read on Gorsuch's silence. In this case, Mark Janus is a child support specialist at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services who works under a contract negotiated by a union that Janus does not wish to affiliate with.
Dexter Guptill, a computer support technician for the American Federation of Teachers, said that if the justices rule against the unions, "my co-workers would wind up being forced to spend their effort representing essentially free riders". Full union dues include money spent on political advocacy.
"The problem is, even though that fee is not supposed to allow the union to spend political dollars in their names, everything a public sector union does is political, because they bargain with the government over employee wages and working conditions", Dewhirst argued. "Here, collective bargaining is core political activity", he said, since unions are seeking higher wages and more public spending.
The fees stem from a 1977 U.S. Supreme Court decision that has stood as a compromise between union and non-union workers in unionized workplaces.