Representative Sandy Levin (D-MI) issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus. V. AFSCME Council 31. In a 5-4 decision, the court decided against the right of unions representing public workers to collect fees from non-members to cover the costs of collective bargaining and enforcing the contract.
"Today's ruling is deeply misguided and distressing. It turns its back on what helped public employees become a vital part of the American middle class.
"It violates a clear, basic principle. Since in representation of workers there can be no discrimination based on whether one is a union member, all who benefit equally should help pay for the cost of the benefit.
"As Chairman of the Michigan State Senate Labor Committee in 1965, I authored the first comprehensive public employment relations act in the nation. Our purpose was to empower collective bargaining for teachers who, without rights, were making 5000 dollars annually, as were so many other public employees. When Governor George Romney and I met for the final negotiation of the bill, it was accepted that there should be no free-riders receiving benefits equally from collective bargaining. The bill passed on a strong bipartisan vote and was signed by Governor Romney."