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Feb 24, 2011


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Well... but freedom of association is a fundamental right under the First Amendment, and this is the basis for collective bargaining rights.

What you're criticizing is the fact that some employees who might not agree with their union's positions effectively are forced to participate in the union, which is a different question than whether collective bargaining itself is rooted in a basic right. This is a critique of how the labor movement has evolved, not a critique of the basic fact that the right to associate with others and advance common positions -- whether in churches, social clubs, businesses, or unions -- is a fundamental freedom.

Michael W. Kruse

Fair Enough. Good clarification.

People do have a right of association. I've always fully embraced the idea that unions provide a valuable service in helping their members jointly represent their common issues. But I think unions should have to provide a service for which members are willing to pay, not mandatory dues.

It is indeed the monopoly power on the labor pool that I find most objectionable. I think most union members are presuming this as a component of what they mean when they say "collective bargaining."


Is freedom of association the same thing as collective bargaining?

I had the unfortunate experience of being forced to be a Teamster many, many years ago...but I've spent most of my adult life taking the benefits packages that were offered, and negotiating my own salary.

I don't think the companies for which I've worked would have ever been obligated to negotiate with a group I formed. I'm free to associate myself with other employees, but aren't they free to take a pass on that and hire someone else?

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