Comments about ‘In our opinion: Supreme Court ruling in Harris v. Quinn is an important victory for freedom of association’

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Published: Thursday, July 3 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

Updated: Tuesday, July 8 2014 12:29 p.m. MDT

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marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

The employer - employee relationship is an unequal one. Typically the employee needs the job more than the employer needs the would be employee. To provide some degree of parity unions which negotiate contracts in a union shop have been allowed to collect dues from non-union employees. If the employer and employee were equals your argument and attitude would have more merit.

But the growing top heavy distributions of wealth and income reflect the weakening status of unions and also reflect the importance of unions in protecting worker rights. Your attitude will accelerate the decline of unions until they will not exist. We will then have the labor relations of the 1880's which most of us don't want to return to, but for some reason the Deseret News does.

In the past the best jobs have been union jobs, in petroleum refining, steel making, coal mining, and on the railroad to mention several union friendly industries. These were good jobs because they were well paid, had benefits, and job security - and those features were present because of UNIONS, often with union shop arrangements. What is the matter with that?

Shaun
Sandy, UT

I wonder what those Justices opinions would be if Unions supported Republicans?

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

In the case in question, the home health care aides who brought the suit have benefited from the union representation, their pay being raised from poverty level to just inside middle class. Yet they don't want to support the union which has helped them so much. Does this seem right to you? The Deseret News on multiple fronts just can't seem to look at the world through a different set of eyes.

ordinaryfolks
seattle, WA

Hmmmmm, DN, where in the 1st amendment is it stated we have freedom of association. I have always thought that the DN was an advocate of strict constructionism of the Constitution.

There is mention in the 1st amendment of freedom of assembly, and assembly does begin with an a. However, it is not the word association. How do you square that circle. Please, explain to us in strict constructionist terms just how do you interpret this to mean union dues are not compulsory when explicitly so by law in a particular state.

I think this points out how hypocritical the Conservative mind is when it comes to Constitutional considerations. Only liberal ones are made up from nothing, and only conservative ones adhere to the strict meanings and definitions of the Constitution. Hogwash.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

@ Marxist

The value of my home has increased in part to the efforts of my neighbors to maintain and beautify their properties. Does this obligate me to help pay for their work? I make similar efforts myself. Does this entitle me to go door-to-door and demand a contribution?

I agree with the ruling. I found it the height of presumption for the Union to reach into the pockets of non-members and take their money.

Esquire
Springville, UT

I would expect such an editorial from this right wing newspaper.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

Interesting comments here.

conservative, "a person who is averse to change and holds to traditional values and attitudes, typically in relation to politics."

So how do you claim to be a strict constructionist, and a conservative, and claim belief in any of modernity? Only through hypocrisy. Conservatives have been brought to civil rights, work place safety, environmentalism, a more fair economy etc. etc. kicking and screaming how the world will end and the Lord said.

Conservatism has jumped parties a few times depending on where they could influence the most. Further proof of it's intent not affiliation.

Point is Republicanism is about a smaller government, and a fiscally responsible government. Conservatism is pure obstructionism.

Republicans and those affiliated with the Republican party (DN), have been blinded by the shiny penny of conservatism (voters, and claimed moral standing). However you can't exist in this world of dynamics by doing nothing and or undoing what has been done before.

Current claimed "conservatives" need to take a hard look at what they've associated themselves with and decide if this really is who they are.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

@Karen R.
Although analogies prove nothing, let me extend yours. If your neighbor neglects his own property, your values are degraded. So you call the authorities and they rectify the situation. You pay the authorities with your taxes, so, yes, you are "obligated" to maintain the value of others' properties.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Justice Alito wrote: "Except perhaps in the rarest of circumstances, no person in this country may be compelled to subsidize speech by a third party that he or she does not wish to support.”

You either agree with Alito, or you don't.

If you agree with Alito, then your CONSERVATIVE employer CANNOT use your wages to support his favorite causes without your permission.

If you disagree with Alito, then your CONSERVATIVE employer CAN use a portion of your wages to support his favorite causes.

That's the essence of the ruling. Union dues come from YOUR wages. The ruling simply says that if you do not agree with the political use of some of those funds, you do not have to give your wages to the union.

If unions supported conservative candidates, what would you say about the use of union funds?

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

I should never have had to pay taxes while bush was president.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "But the growing top heavy distributions of wealth and income reflect the weakening status of unions and also reflect the importance of unions in protecting worker rights."

What really reflects the weakening status of unions is the fact that real people are fleeing them and their corrupt practices in droves.

When the heavy heel of a government boot on their neck is required to force real people into submission to cynical trade-union political demands, you know unions have become the problem, not the solution.

jsf
Centerville, UT

The arguments here miss the point of the case, which has limitations in it's application. The case arises in the state it occurred, when a home or individual caregiver provides medical care for a member of their own family. In some of these cases because the healthcare provider gets some government assistance, and because of the government assistance in the care, SEIU demanded the federal government reduce the payment to the caregiver as union dues, and remit those fees directly to SEIU. This is the equivalent of the SEIU demanding dues from every welfare recipient for every kind of welfare payment and having the government skim the dues off the top.

These would be like irony guy posts, since you could call on the authorities to fix the problem, and they being SEIU union members, they if you do the same work on your lot you should be paying SEIU union dues.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

@ Irony Guy

My comment was based on the DN article alone. jsf's comment made me realize my error. I should've known better than to think a single article could capture the detail and complexity often seen in SCOTUS-level cases. So I change my opinion on this decision to "no opinion." I don't have enough information.

For what it's worth re: my original comment, I thought later that a more apt analogy would be my homeowner's association. Membership is voluntary and I pay my dues knowing full well that most of my neighbors due not, yet reap the benefits. But there are payoffs for me, just as there are for unions to do what they do. The fact that our efforts happen to benefit more than just those who pay is simply how it goes sometimes. But to presume that this entitles me to demand payment from those who also benefitted when the choice on my end was freely made...No. Can't agree with that.

RG
Buena Vista, VA

To Marxist and all in agreement,
I am amazed at how much control you would cede to govt. If you want a larger and larger govt. to control your life, there are plenty of nations that you can move to. But the US was set up on the idea that individual freedom would be maximized. This does not mean anarchy. It does mean not being forced to pay dues to unions you disagree with.

Speaking of unions, they once had their place. Employees used to have unsafe conditions, etc. But now, the unions that used to be the champion of the little man, are the MAN themselves. They treat their own members thugishly, while the union bosses make out like bandits, and in many cases, actually are bandits.

WestGranger
West Valley City, Utah

It is appalling to see that four justices would rule against freedom and rights of the individual.Why on earth should someone be forced to financially support an organization that goes against their basic core beliefs. It is a clearly ugly, fascist behavior rooted bipartisan political beliefs and that completely disregards basic freedom of choice.

WestGranger
West Valley City, Utah

@Shaun. It shouldn't matter whether unions supported republicans or democrats. It's just plain wrong to force someone to financially support opposing views and beliefs.

FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT

@ RG

unions are needed more than ever.

Unfortunately, corporate CEOs have destroyed unions through the "free speech" of bribing our congress.

If you think that unions aren't needed anymore then I don't think you've been paying attention to the way workers are treated and compensated today.

Linus
Bountiful, UT

Marxist mentioned the importance of unions in three union-friendly industries: steel, oil, and railroads. Need I point out the decline in these three industries. America was once the world leader in steel production. Go check out Geneva Steel. America once shipped nearly everything, including passengers, by rail. No more. The rails are rusting. We can no longer compete with other oil producers in oil refining. Unions have been such a blessing to these declining industries and the declining number of workers they employ.

ordinaryfolks
seattle, WA

I don't support a employer's right to ban certain birth control products from insurance that I may get from said employer. Insurance is part of my compensation, and I don't get a say in it. And do not forget, I have to pay a portion of that insurance. That is a double whammy against my personal choices.

So, why does my employer have a right to use his/her voice in a say in my life? This is even more important that the union dues issue.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Conservative.

ordinaryfolks
seattle, WA

I am a stockholder in some large corporations. Some of these corporations donate to political causes I don't like. I voice my objections regularly, but the Board of Directors will not take action to even allow a vote on my motion to cease funding the activities.

Just another example of the hypocrisy of the right. They would say that this is just democracy in action, and that I should get out of those stocks. Well, as I understand it, unions do hold votes to see how some, not all, of their dues get spent on political actions. Union leadership does allow dissident votes. But not corporate America.

Hypocrisy yet again.

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