A 1997 Supreme Court decision, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, said that public-sector unions could charge and collect fees from non-union members to help defray the cost of collective bargaining and other activities. Non-union members, however, do not have to pay for union political activities in which a union may engage. Janus argued that he was being forced to pay for political activities that he opposed. Actually, non-union members paying “agency” fees are required to sign a letter every year saying they don’t want to be connected to those activities and can get a refund.If the Supreme Court rules in Janus' favor, public sector unions could be weakened, possibly sparking a financial crisis. With less money, unions would lose bargaining power, and thus employers could begin to reduce health-care and post-employment benefits that unions typically bargain for.
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