Blue state lawmakers are waging a preemptive strike against an anticipated U.S. Supreme Court decision that could decimate the power of public-sector unions across the nation.
New York and New Jersey officials are pursuing an end-run around Janus v. AFSCME, a case that could give government workers across all states the option of declining to pay union fees even if they benefit from that union‘s contract negotiations. Pro- and anti-union partisans alike anticipate the court is likely to rule against the unions — a decision that labor leaders fear will shrink their bank accounts and, in turn, their power.
The play by these states is pretty simple: Beef up public-employee union’s ability to recruit and retain members in an effort to counteract the chunk of revenue loss these unions expect. New York passed a provision in NY A9509 (17R) that makes it harder for people to opt out of paying union dues by letting unions set the terms for refusals and allows union representatives to recruit new employees during the workday. New Jersey just enacted a similar measure through legislation.
The states’ laws make it easier for public-employee unions to recruit workers by giving them access to employees’ contact information and allowing them to recruit during the workday.