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Supreme Court: Public union can’t make nonmembers pay fees

Supreme Court Cellphone SearchesWASHINGTON — The Supreme Court dealt a blow to public sector unions June30, ruling that thousands of home health care workers in Illinois cannot be required to pay fees that help cover a union’s costs of collective bargaining. 

In a 5-4 split along ideological lines, the justices said the practice violates the First Amendment rights of nonmembers who disagree with the positions that unions take. The ruling is a setback for labor unions that have bolstered their ranks and their bank accounts in Illinois and other states by signing up hundreds of thousands of in-home care workers. 

It could lead to an exodus of members who will have little incentive to pay dues if nonmembers don’t have to share the burden of union costs.

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