[OPE-L] A "trade union tax" ?

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Sun Feb 25 2007 - 07:30:02 EST

A more controversial bill being pushed by [US Maryland DP Governor Martin]
O'Malley would allow unions to charge fees to state employees whose
interests they represent in collective bargaining, even employees who had
not joined the union. That measure showed up unexpectedly last month in
O'Malley's legislative package.

In 1999, the General Assembly codified the State's collective bargaining
process, which granted bargaining rights to employees in the principal
departments of the executive branch of State government. The 1999
legislation was amended to prohibit collective bargaining to include
negotiations relating to the right of an employee organization to receive
service fees from nonmembers. A service fee is a non-member's financial
contribution to an employee organization to pay for negotiating contracts,
representing employees in grievances, and other organization activities that
benefit the non-member. The Governor's legislation would make it permissible
for State collective bargaining negotiations to include the right of an
employee organization to receive service fees.

In Australia, the Green Party supported these kind of union service fees.
However, Australia's Tony Abbot MP (Liberals) criticised the practice:
"'Service fees' are an attempt by some trade union officials to introduce
door compulsory unionism. Compulsory 'service fees' are against the objects
the Workplace Relations Act's freedom of association provisions."

This invited a retort from Dean Mighell (state secretary of the Electrical
Trades Union of Australia) that the service fee was "fair"


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