Democrats in the Connecticut Senate voted to approve a bill that would give public-sector unions easier access to new or existing employees and their personal information.
Organized labor in the state has pressed Democrats to approve Senate Bill 908 to offset some of the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which prohibited public sector unions from compelling non-members to pay dues because it violated their First Amendment rights.
In addition, the Court clarified that workers must give affirmative consent to surrender their First Amendment right not to financially support unions.
The legislation, titled “An Act Concerning Access to Certain Public Employees by the Exclusive Bargaining Representative of a Public Employer Bargaining Unit,” was approved Thursday by the state Senate, 22-13, and will now be taken up by the state House.
“Instead of respecting the Supreme Court’s Janus decision, Big Labor’s allies in the Connecticut Senate are granting union bosses a host of privileges so they can manipulate more and more Connecticut public servants into paying them dues while keeping them in the dark about their First Amendment right to abstain from union financial support,” National Right to Work Committee Vice President John Kalb said in a statement to Breitbart News.
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation argued and won the Janus case before the Supreme Court.
“This includes forcing employers to give union bosses access to employee personal information, worker orientation, and even government email systems all so they can control the flow of information Connecticut public employees are getting,” Kalb noted.
As the CT Mirror reported, the measure would also require public employers to notify unions of new employees and provide them with their home contact information. The bill would further permit unions access to new employee orientation meetings and use of government email.
State Senate President pro tempore Martin M. Looney (D) referred to the legislation as “one of the most important” bills of the year. He also said the measure is “an effort to mitigate as far as we can, as a matter of law, the unfortunate and corrosive U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus.”
However, state Sen. Dan Champagne (R) asserted, “This is a giveaway to unions.”
The Yankee Institute for Public Policy, which seeks to develop and advance free-market, limited-government solutions in Connecticut, noted in March a report that observed Connecticut has the most unionized public-sector workforce in the country.
Marc E. Fitch highlighted the report at Unionstats.com, observing that “[n]early 75 percent of Connecticut’s public-sector workforce is part of a union.”
“Senate Bill 908 requires public employers to supply unions with public employees’ contact information regularly, give union representatives access to new employee orientations, codify union dues authorizations into state law and force the employer to rely solely on the union as to who to deduct union dues from,” Fitch explained.