WASHIGNTON—Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, expressed disappointment in today’s Supreme Court decision on Janus v. AFSCME. The 5-4 decision struck down an Illinois law that required non-union workers to pay fees that go to collective bargaining, overturning a 1977 law that required employees to pay “fair share” fees.
Bishop Dewane’s full statement follows:
“It is disappointing that today’s Supreme Court ruling renders the long-held view of so many bishops constitutionally out-of-bounds, and threatens to 'limit the freedom or negotiating capacity of labor unions.' Caritas in Veritate, no. 25. By reading the First Amendment to invalidate agency fee provisions in public-sector collective bargaining agreements, the Court has determined—nationwide, and almost irrevocably—that all government work places shall be “right-to-work.” Now that such agency fee agreements are outlawed, state and federal legislators should explore alternative means “for the promotion of workers’ associations that can defend their rights.” Caritas in Veritate, no.25.”