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Federal Unions Show How to Survive Even Without Agency Fees

Posted 3/5/18

During the Janus oral arguments Feb. 26, a few Supreme Court Justices expressed concerns that ending the ability of public-employee unions to operate closed shops, where they can require the payment of the equivalent of dues from nonmembers, could have chaotic consequences for the 22 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico where that has been the law for decades.

The U.S. Solicitor General, Noel J. Francisco, arguing against the unions’ position, attempted to allay those concerns by citing the successful existence of Federal Government unions. These unions exist in an “open-shop” environment where they can’t compel employees in their bargaining units to pay dues or agency fees, but are still required to represent everyone.

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