Compulsory ‘Free’ Speech

CEI Labor Policy Counsel Featured in American Spectator

What is free speech? Is it the right to speak out and give money to causes, politicians and push ideas? Is it the ability to keep silent and not support that with which a person disagrees? Or is it the power of a group to force its individual members to fund political causes and candidates they do not support?

On April 9, attorneys for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 (IUOE) argued that Indiana’s Right to Work Law infringes on their free speech rights because — get this — it deprives them of the dues mandated from workers by “agency shop” provisions.

Earlier this year Indiana became the 23rd state in the nation to give workers right to work protections. Right to work laws allow employees at unionized worksites to keep their job without having to pay dues to a union. If individual employees like what the union is doing, they are still free to pay dues, but these contributions are purely voluntary.

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