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 Impact of Supreme Court's ruling on unions could be felt nationwide

Impact of Supreme Court's ruling on unions could be felt nationwide

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Advocates for women's rights weren't the only ones dealt a blow Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court; so, too, was an Illinois health care union seeking dues from the nonmembers they represent. Lost in the Hobby Lobby hyperbole: The nation's highest court in a 5-4 ruling reversed a decision upheld by a federal appeals court that allowed the union to require "fair share" fees from public in-home care workers who had not joined its ranks but whom it represented in collective bargaining.

The eight petitioners who brought the Harris v. Quinn case -- personal assistants from Illinois who provided home care services to Medicaid recipients -- argued their First Amendment rights were violated by a state law requiring union fees from those uninterested in joining.

"They're important sectors in the society, they're growing sectors. And they're sectors that are largely filled by low-wage women and people of color," Kim Bobo, executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice, told NCR. Though she said she didn't believe the court overtly sought to discriminate against those groups, Bobo viewed its decision as continuing previous labor law practices that exempted minority groups from the fullest protections.

View the full story from the National Catholic Reporter