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Union-dues ruling is a game-changer

Supporters of Illinois government employee Mark Janus cheer

Supporters of Illinois government employee Mark Janus cheer him at the Supreme Court in February. The court ruled June 27 that government workers who choose not to join a union cannot be charged for the cost of collective bargaining. Credit: AP / Jacquelyn Martin

Labor unions have been a part of the fiber of America since our country’s inception. So, why are unions under constant attack, as now with the Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 [“Supreme Court deals big setback to labor unions,” News, June 28]? It’s because corporate interests and anti-union groups want this country to be entirely right-to-work.

Unions lift all workers by setting the standards for pay and benefits, even for non-union members. When union workers receive fair pay and benefits, nonunion employers also pay more and offer stronger benefits to retain skilled, qualified employees.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in right-to-work states earn 12 percent less than workers in states without these laws. That circumstance can halt the growth of our economy. If people make less, they don’t have money to spend, which means less money is put back into the system.

The bureau also reports that 94 percent of unionized employees have access to employer-sponsored health insurance versus 67 percent of nonunion employees. And that workers are 49 percent more likely to die on the job in a right-to-work state.

The economy is better and workers are safer when unions are strong.

Nicholas LaMorte, Commack

Editor’s note: The writer is president of CSEA Long Island Region.

As a taxpayer activist in a union-dominated school district, I welcome the Janus decision.

In two years in East Islip, voters have added debt totaling more than $73 million to fund capital improvements and energy conservation. Further, our taxpayers fund the East Islip Teachers Association’s Teacher Welfare Fund at $960 per head each year for extra benefits for many employees.

We believe the Janus decision will bring new resolve to the pro-taxpayer and school reform movement.

Andrea Vecchio, East Islip

Editor’s note: The writer is an activist with the taxpayer group East Islip TaxPAC.

CORRECTION: This letter has been corrected. An earlier version incorrectly described the size and purpose of the debt. In addition, some administrators are not covered by funding of the welfare fund. The pool of beneficiaries was overstated.