Ohio groups applaud Supreme Court “fair share” decision

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WOWO/Ohio News Service): Some of the country’s largest labor unions are claiming a tentative victory after a split decision Tuesday from the U.S. Supreme Court.

At issue is whether nonunion workers have to pay what’s known as “fair share” union dues for the wages and workplace protections the union negotiates for them. The nation’s highest court voted 4-4, leaving intact a nearly 40-year-old law making “fair share” dues legal for public-sector workers, including teachers.

While the decision could face a rehearing, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said she believes it’s a step in the right direction.

“Millions of people understand that it is only through their unions that they can actually get a better piece of the American pie,” she said.

The Ohio AFL-CIO and the Ohio Education Association are among those applauding the ruling.

The case, Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association, was brought to the Supreme Court by the libertarian group the Center for Individual Rights, which argued that First Amendment rights are violated by having an employee pay a union even if the worker doesn’t want to join.

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