In the continuing pursuit of worker freedom, the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation has filed a lawsuit to clarify (or, I guess, expand) the recent Janus v. AFSCME ruling to railway and airline employees.
Janus found that government employees could not be required to pay for union representation if they were not members of the unions that bargained for their workplaces. The specific legal question in the new case is whether the Railway Labor Act extends those rights.
I haven’t reviewed the legal reasoning to be able to explain why the Railway Labor Act makes the difference. The point in Janus, as I understand it, was that unions negotiating with government are inherently producing political speech, even when they simply negotiate contracts.
But one of the plaintiffs in the case, Lin Rizzo-Rupon seems to make the case that the right not to join unions should be universal:
“It’s my money. I don’t feel that I should be required to pay someone to protect my job,” said Rizzo-Rupon. “We now have laws to take care of our health and safety in the workplace. I don’t think I should be paying taxes to the government that’s protecting me and then also be paying these mandatory fees to a union for those same protections.”
If the point is that the Railway Labor Act affords protections to the worker, then all workplace or labor standards would apply.