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Matt Brouillette, President and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation and a Board Member of the Fairness Center, talked with Dom Giordano about a Supreme Court case involving teachers from California.
Brouillette says the high court’s ruling could have a significant impact regarding how unions operate throughout the country.
“The Friedrichs case is where you’ve got a dozen public school teachers in California that have made the claim that unions are political entities through and through and that whenever anybody is forced to pay that union as a condition of employment, they are thereby being forced to pay for the political activities of that union. It is important that the US Supreme Court has taken up this case and is hearing it because this is a claim that we have long made. That the unions are inherently political and that when we force people to pay that union, just to keep their job, that is inherently a violation of people’s First Amendment rights.”
He agrees with the teachers in the case that claim all union activity is political in some way.
“Where the unions want to say, we have non-politcal costs and political costs and we’re not going to be able to compel anybody to pay for our politics, there are ways around that, this Friedrichs case is important because it’s saying all union activity is political, even if they are negotiating for higher salaries at the bargaining table, they’re effectively lobbying for higher taxes on the people who have to pay those salaries.”
Brouillette added that he hopes Fairness Center can serve similar interests of the residents in Pennsylvania.
“There are a lot of public employees that are being abused by their unions and our public interest law firm is taking up their cases because, not only are employees rights important, but this certainly affects the taxpayers. We have decided in the past, little over a year, that this is a tool that Pennsylvania desperately needs. We’re proud to be representing the interests of public employees, and ultimately the taxpayers.”