Thursday, June 28, 2018

Discount Movie Tickets

Free usually has strings attached
In 2004, I was hired as a Librarian.  At the time, I was informed that I had the option (pay attention to that word "option;" it will come back to haunt you, later) to join the union.  I chose not to join.

Three years ago (so, eleven years after I was hired), SEIU came knocking on my employers' door and informed us that we were required to be union members; that we never actually had the option not to join.   You WILL be a union member and you WILL pay union dues.  I don't like being compelled to do things so I really did not want to join.

What bothered me most was the heavy handed tactics employed by the union.  As Justice Alito noted in the majority opinion:
The plaintiff argues that he is not a free rider on a bus headed for a destination that he wishes to reach but is more like a person shanghaied for an unwanted voyage.
...and that's exactly what it felt like.  Union comes in and starts pushing everyone around.  You will do this; you will do that!  When I asked why I should join the union, the response?  "You get discount movie tickets!"  Really?  That's the best reason for joining?  Movie tickets?!?

Imagine, then, my elation when the Supreme Court finally ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that employees can opt out of having to join a union and/or not pay dues.  

WOW!  Who would have thought that the Supremes would rule for the employee having only just ruled against employees in two cases:
So, it was kinda surprising that employees would get a win. 

Eh, who knows what the SCOTUS will do.  True, there are pundits who say a judge appointed by a Republican will always vote conservative and a judge appointed by a Democrat will always vote liberal.  

But that isn't always true, is it?

Kennedy was a conservative (appointed by Reagan in 1988) and he regularly voted with the liberals on progressive issues.  Kagan is a staunch liberal (appointed by Obama in 2010) but recently joined the conservatives in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights  Commission, 584 U.S. ___ (2018).  

So, maybe the Supremes are making a statement that political affiliation isn't a consideration in their decisions?

One can only hope.