Commissioner of the Department of Administration Kelly Tshibaka is right: the government should not act as a “middle man” and collect dues payments for unions.
In Tshibaka’s op-ed “Stop the Janus stone slinging and start delivering solutions” (Oct. 2) she asks for legislative solutions instead of bellyaching from labor unions over the result in Janus v AFSCME. The landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision ended union’s authority to force non-members to pay union fees as a condition of employment.
Labor unions’ major problem with the Janus decision is it created a free-rider problem where non-members benefit from union representation without paying dues. On the other hand, non-union members feel the Janus decision is justified because they do not think they should pay fees to a union they do not want.
It’s a conundrum with a legislative solution to please all sides: Eliminate exclusive representation. Exclusive-representation laws force union representation on unwilling individuals, just because a majority of their colleagues voted for it. Nonmembers must work under a union contract, the contents of which they have no say in. It is time to make a clean break between the union and nonmembers. Nonmembers should be free to negotiate directly with their employer and find their own representation during grievance procedures. This way, unions provide services only to workers who are full-fledged dues-paying members.
It is past time to stop forcing union representation on workers and provide individuals the freedom to choose how they are represented at the workplace.
Labor policy analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank located in Washington, D.C.