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Tue Aug 28, 2018, 03:02 AM

New Mexico asks union workers to waive First Amendment rights

In the wake of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision curbing the power of public employee labor unions, the state of New Mexico has stopped deducting "fair share" fees from the wages of workers who haven't joined the unions that represent them in contract negotiations.

The state government also stopped collecting union dues from paychecks for hundreds of workers who are union members.

While the state is asking these union members to sign forms declaring their union membership, a requirement that they also agree to waive First Amendment rights is stirring controversy.

Union leaders as well as a hearing officer for the state Public Employee Labor Relations Board say that requirement goes far beyond the Supreme Court's recent ruling in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.

Read more: https://www.currentargus.com/story/news/local/new-mexico/2018/08/26/new-mexico-asks-union-workers-waive-first-amendment-rights/1104683002/

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Reply New Mexico asks union workers to waive First Amendment rights (Original post)
TexasTowelie Aug 2018 OP
PoindexterOglethorpe Aug 2018 #1
MichMan Aug 2018 #2
PoindexterOglethorpe Aug 2018 #3
MichMan Aug 2018 #4
PoindexterOglethorpe Aug 2018 #5
MichMan Aug 2018 #6
PoindexterOglethorpe Aug 2018 #7

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Tue Aug 28, 2018, 05:41 AM

1. As a former union member I'm appalled.

I also believe that those who don't pay union dues should not get union benefits. They should be willing to accept lower pay and reduced benefits in exchange for no union dues.

I've never walked a picket line, but I've honored the line more than once.

It enrages me that so many do not understand what unions have done for them.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 28, 2018, 12:57 PM

2. I don't think getting rid of the exclusive bargaining clause is a good idea

Look, I understand the frustration of someone opting out of joining the union still getting the same wages and benefits. As it is, someone deciding to opt out is not allowed to bargain for themselves, so they receive the same wages and benefits as the members.

In order to eliminate that from occurring, the exclusive bargaining clauses would need to be eliminated as well. Most unions are loathe to allow that to occur. Why?

Doing so would be detrimental to nearly every union for the following reasons;

1) Allows other unions to come in and poach members. Let's say the USW works hard to get voted in and establish a contract. If the exclusive bargaining clause isn't in place, a rival union (like the SEIU for instance) could go in and siphon off members by promising lower dues etc.

2) Most importantly, if you allow people to bargain for themselves, what is stopping an employer by offering higher wages and benefits to those individuals? That would be the easiest way to break a union as the floodgates would open with people leaving in droves.


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Response to MichMan (Reply #2)

Tue Aug 28, 2018, 01:12 PM

3. If only companies offered better wages and benefits

to those who don't join the union. But they never do. Sometimes when a company is facing a serious threat of a union actually being voted in by the workers, they will make promises that they don't keep, and they'll tell lies about how awful the union will be. I know. I've been there.

I started my working life in Arizona in the mid 1960s, which at the time was one of two "Right to Work" states. I don't know what the other state was. One thing that I was aware of was that we were paid less than our counterparts in other states, precisely because of that. And I worked for Ma Bell, which was a pretty good company to work for back then. I was a member of CWA, Communication Workers of America, although many of my coworkers didn't join. We had a strike, and to this day I remember exactly who crossed the picket line and who honored it.

Then I moved to the east coast and got an airline job. We benefited a lot from the presence of other unions in the industry, but over time those benefits went away. For instance, we got time and a half working Sunday, even if it was our regularly scheduled shift. If we worked a holiday, we got straight pay for the day, and time and a half for the hours worked. If we were called in on a day off, we automatically got a minimum four hours pay, even if we only worked an hour or so. That happened to me once or twice. Contrast that with companies making people work off the clock, and you see the benefit of a union.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #3)

Tue Aug 28, 2018, 01:13 PM

4. They are not allowed to

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Response to MichMan (Reply #4)

Tue Aug 28, 2018, 01:21 PM

5. I do not believe that's true.

If someone is not part of the bargaining group, not a member of the union, the employer is free to pay that employee at a different rate. At least that's what a quick Google search turned up.

Sometimes an employer with a small workforce will do the smart thing and pay more than the going rate for that job. But they don't try to break a union by paying the non union workers more. Too bad. So meanwhile the ones who refuse to join are not paying their fair share for the benefits they get.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #5)

Tue Aug 28, 2018, 05:54 PM

6. Not sure you meant what you posted


The following statements appear to contradict each other

"I also believe that those who don't pay union dues should not get union benefits. They should be willing to accept lower pay and reduced benefits in exchange for no union dues."

"If someone is not part of the bargaining group, not a member of the union, the employer is free to pay that employee at a different rate."

In the attached link

In every state, workers who want to collectively bargain with an employer must get support from a majority of the workers in a unit (sometimes a whole workplace, sometimes a particular group of employees). When the union gets majority support, it has a legal duty to bargain on behalf of all the workers in the unit, including those who object to the union.

This is the so-called rule of exclusive representation, and it applies everywhere in the country.

In right-to-work states, however, objecting workers can refuse to pay the union for its services. Hence, the double bind: Unions are obligated to provide free services for workers who don't want a union.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-sachs-unions-supreme-court-20140710-story.html#


Here is another article by a pro labor source regarding exclusive representation

http://inthesetimes.com/features/unions_exclusive_representation_janus.html

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Response to MichMan (Reply #6)

Tue Aug 28, 2018, 09:23 PM

7. I did mean it. I also found some stuff on line that does indicate

that employers could pay union and non union workers different amounts.

I am not very familiar with labor law, I am a huge supporter of unions, and I think Right To Work has been instrumental in keeping wages down. You probably agree with me on those things, so we aren't actually disagreeing, although I may be expressing myself poorly and perhaps don't fully understand the issues.

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