News Release

U.S. Supreme Court to Re-Examine Scope of Union Dues Compelled from Non-Union Workers

High Court grants certiorari in case involving Maine public employees objecting to union dues spent for activities unrelated to collective bargaining

Washington, D.C. (February 19, 2008) — The U.S. Supreme Court has today granted a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by National Right to Work Foundation attorneys for a group of twenty Maine state employees objecting to the misuse of their compulsory union dues.

The case, Daniel Locke et al. v. Edward Karass et al., will directly address whether non-union employees can be forced to pay for litigation activities far removed from their workplaces. But the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling may provide much-needed clarity to the criteria it had established previously that determine what union activities employees can be lawfully forced to fund.

Unions spend billions of dollars each year on activities such as politics, organizing, litigation, lobbying, and a wide range of other ideological and non-bargaining activities. Yet, union officials often claim that non-union members must foot the bill for these activities or be fired from their jobs.

“No one should be compelled to pay union dues just to get or keep a job,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “But where union officials have obtained this special privilege from the legislature, they still have no legal authority to make non-union public servants in Maine pay for union activity across America.”

Locke is the 14th case brought by National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

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