The Service Employees International Union was on the receiving end of a Supreme Court dog bite. The Court’s decision declared that home care workers cannot be forced to pay union dues although the union represents them.

The case involved home health care workers who were paid under the state medicaid program. The unions argued that these individuals benefited because unions negotiated their wages. This required the home healthcare workers to pay union dues to the SEIU.

The court shot down the SEIU argument that the workers derived innumerable benefits from union bargaining; citing the workers right not to subsidize speech that they may object to. Hence, the home healthcare workers are no longer required to subsidize the union by paying dues. A blow to the union treasury.

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, denounced the ruling. “Home care is one of the fastest-growing industries. Its workers do backbreaking, thankless work, often for low wages.,” he said. “By forming a union, these workers are helping to combat income inequality and the rise of low-wage jobs.”

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