News & Commentary

January 17, 2024

Jacqueline Rayfield

Jacqueline Rayfield is a student at Harvard Law School.

In today’s News and Commentary, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Alaska’s appeal on a policy to allow workers to opt-out of paying union dues, the Center for American Progress highlights ways to increase union membership, and local unions hold out on endorsing Biden’s reelection.

On Tuesday, the justices of the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from Alaska on a Republican-backed policy passed in 2019. The original policy, an administrative order by Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy, barred unions from representing and collecting dues from workers unless those workers filled out an authorization form. Lower courts in Alaska dismissed the case and the Alaskan Supreme Court affirmed in 2023.

The Center for American Progress (CAP) released a report highlighting stagnant union density, and suggesting policy solutions to increase membership. The CAP contributor argues that policy solutions such as the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act and the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act would be strong first steps to increasing union membership.

Several local unions, including truck drivers, firefighters, and postal workers, have been holding out on endorsing Biden’s reelection campaign. Union leaders highlight Biden’s intervention to prevent a national railway strike in 2022, and Democrats inability to rally support for the PRO Act as possible reasons for the holdout.

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