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Read the Supreme Court opinion in Janus v AFSCME

Video by Taryn Galbraith

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that government workers can’t be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining, dealing a serious financial blow to organized labor.

The justices are scrapping a 41-year-old decision that had allowed states to require that public employees pay some fees to unions that represent them, even if the workers choose not to join.

The 5-4 decision fulfills a longtime wish of conservatives to get rid of the so-called fair share fees that non-members pay to unions in roughly two dozen states. The court ruled that the laws violate the First Amendment by compelling workers to support unions they may disagree with.

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OPINION

Collective action is unions’ last defense – and high court on verge of ending it

Janus case is part of continuing attack on workers

Union ‘fair share’ fees protect all workers without infringing on free speech