×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hollywood Condemns Supreme Court’s Union Fees Decision

WASHINGTON — SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris reacted strongly to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling that public sector unions cannot mandate that nonmembers pay fees for collective bargaining, calling the decision “shameful” and a “direct attempt to weaken unions.”

In the opinion issued on Wednesday, the majority of justices said that public sector employees who are not members of a union do not have to pay the fees, concluding that such a mandate violates the First Amendment. An Illinois public employee had challenged the mandate, arguing that it violated the First Amendment, but unions said that such nonmembers still enjoyed the benefits of representation.

Justice Samuel Alito, in the majority opinion, wrote, “This procedure violates the First Amendment and can­ not continue. Neither an agency fee nor any other pay­ment to the union may be deducted from a nonmember’s wages, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay. By agreeing to pay, nonmembers are waiving their First Amendment rights, and such a waiver cannot be presumed.”

Hollywood labor unions condemned the decision. Even though it applies only to public sector unions, they predicted that it would undermine the rights of labor overall.

Carteris said that the court “made the wrong decision; a decision in favor of increasing the power of employers at the expense of their workers. Without engaged workers, union protections become more vulnerable. This ruling is a direct attempt to weaken unions, the very organizations who allow workers to speak together as one, to have a voice in their wages, their safety at work, and their healthcare and retirement. The Supreme Court’s decision directly overturns a decision made by the Court in 1977. Have workers lives improved so much that unions can now be so blatantly attacked? Are workers all better off now? Are employers sharing in their success with all those who make them successful? No.”

She continued, “This shameful decision only serves to strengthen our resolve to find ways to protect working families in this country. Now more than ever as professionals, we must come together and renew our commitment to speak as one. To be strong in the face of all attempts to minimize us. We know that fighting for a better life for you and your family is what unions do. It’s time for unions, and the workers who make them vibrant and strong, to show this court and those who would attack and diminish working people that this is unacceptable. When workers come together, workers win, and that did not change today.”

Matthew Loeb, president of IATSE International, said that this “terrible decision is a sign of our times and the political mess in which we find ourselves. Soon, all working people, not just those in the public sector, will face the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s actions, in the form of diminished bargaining rights and weaker contracts.”

“This is a dark day for all of organized labor, but we can and we must continue to press back against this ongoing assault. We must continue to grow and strengthen our unions through organizing, no matter what the laws are. We didn’t need permission to fight back against the robber barons of the Gilded Age, and we do not need it to fight back against the robber barons of today,” he added.
The Writers Guild of America East called it a “terrible decision” that was “the product of raw power politics, not constitutional deliberation.”

“We should harbor no illusions about this terrible decision: it was the product of raw power politics, not constitutional deliberation,” the guild said. “The Koch Brothers and their hard-right-wing allies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in recent decades to undermine the ability of working Americans to fight for themselves, to have a voice on the job, to win terms and conditions of employment that make it possible to support a family and pay the bills.”

Ajit Pai, the chairman of the FCC, weighed in by tweeting one aspect of the majority opinion, in which the justices wrote that “Forcing free and independent individuals to endorse ideas they find objectionable is always demeaning. . . . Compelling a person to subsidize the speech of other private speakers raises similar First Amendment concerns.”

More Politics

  • Donald Trump United Nations

    Nancy Pelosi Announces House Will Proceed With Impeachment

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday morning that the House will proceed with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. Pelosi said the impeachment inquiry has shown that Trump abused his power by withholding military aid and a White House meeting from Ukraine in an attempt to pressure the country’s president to announce an investigation into [...]

  • Kamala Harris

    Kamala Harris Drops Out of Presidential Race

    Kamala Harris announced on Tuesday that she is dropping out of the presidential race, citing her campaign’s struggles to raise money in the closing months before the Iowa caucus. Harris informed her staff on a conference call that she was suspending her campaign. “My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need [...]

  • Prince Andrew161st Great Yorkshire Show, Great

    Woman Trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein Accuses Britain's Prince Andrew of Lying

    The woman who alleges that she was forced by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew said she had three encounters with the British royal at the late financier’s instigation and accused the prince of lying about it. Virginia Giuffre told the BBC that Epstein brought her to London in March 2001 when she [...]

  • Armed police at incident at London

    Two Dead in Terrorist Attack on London Bridge

    UPDATED: Several people were injured, some seriously, in a knife attack in London and their suspected assailant was killed by police in an incident Friday that Scotland Yard said was a terrorist assault. London police later said that two people were killed, according to the Associated Press. London Bridge was cordoned off and the area [...]

  • Donald Trump Hollywood Racism

    Trump Tweets Doctored Photo of Himself With Rocky Balboa's Body

    With a little Photoshop, anyone can have the Eye of the Tiger — or the shirtless body. On Wednesday, President Donald Trump had the internet scratching its collective head when he tweeted an image of his face superimposed on top of the fictional Rocky Balboa’s body. While the doctored image had no caption, it does [...]

  • Michael Bloomberg Democratic National Convention

    Michael Bloomberg Officially Enters Presidential Race

    Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Sunday that he would enter the Democratic Primary “to defeat Donald Trump” and “rebuild America.” I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America. I believe my unique set of experiences in business, government, and philanthropy will enable me to win and lead. Join our team: [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content