(CBS News) — The U.S. Supreme Court has dealt a blow to public sector unions, holding that requiring workers who are represented by a union, but choose not to join, do not have to pay dues to cover the costs of collective bargaining. A narrowly divided court ruled that such dues, often called “fair-share fees,” violate free-speech rights of union non-members. Such fees violate “the free speech rights of nonmembers by compelling them to subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern,” the majority wrote in its decisions . Most legal observers had broadly expected a loss for unions. The 5-4 decision by the nine-member court was widely expected to devastate union funding. While workers can choose whether or not to join a union, unions are legally obligated to bargain for everyone in a particular working unit. The 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court could devastate clout of public sector unions in states including Illinois, New York and California https://t.co/hAkaWCEmyV pic.twitter.com/yASkA9Ys2v — CBS News (@CBSNews) June 27, 2018 Across the border from Illinois, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 enjoys an overwhelming 83 percent support among covered workers — but only 29 percent of those workers are dues-paying members. © 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Supreme Court Rules Against Mandatory Union Dues