4/16/08

SEIU to rebate dues extorted from non-members

This one is interesting. The SEIU was ordered by a California judge to rebate assessments charged non-union members who were charged fees by the union that were used to fight a political campaign against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

We get the story from the Sacramento Bee.
Judge Morrison England, in a decision Thursday, ordered Service Employees International Union Local 1000 to send notices to the workers who opted out of union membership. The union must issue refunds, with interest, to those non-union members who object to the special assessment. The rebate would amount to $135 plus interest for a worker who made $4,500 a month in 2005.

The special fee raised $12 million to fight Schwarzenegger’s agenda, about a quarter of which was paid by state workers who chose not to join the union.
But, how is it that this union was able to extort money from non-members in the first place, you might ask? It’s only because of the cozy relationship that the union has with the state that allows even non-union members to be ripped off by the union. Thanks to the stupidity of the state of California, even non-members have to pay money into the union! In any other situation this would be called theft. But, when a state government that bends over backwards for unions is involved, it’s called law.

Naturally, the SEIU thinks this is a bad ruling because it limits their “free speech.”
“We feel it’s a bad decision,” Zamora said. “It really hurts free speech” and the union’s ability to respond to issues that affect its membership.
Uh, no. It might put a crimp in the union’s extortion scheme, but it does nothing to “hurt free speech.”

As mentioned in the past, court rulings like this are beginning to happen more often. Let’s hope such cases end up protecting workers who don’t want to belong to or be forced to pay for unions against their will.

(stoptheaclu.com)

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