Debate: How Should Unions Deal With Free Riders?

Credit: American Association of University Professors, CC 2.0

The U.S. is quickly becoming an open-shop country. A majority of states now have “right-to-work” laws, and the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME is likely to make right to work the law of the land in the public sector. Many unions are bracing for an immediate exodus of dues- and fee-payers.

In a right-to-work setting, workers have the option to be free riders, receiving the benefits of unionization without paying membership dues or fees. Yet the duty of fair representation requires the union to represent everyone in the bargaining unit, even non-members. This duty arises from a union being the exclusive representative of a group of workers—no other union or organization can speak for them.

Those are the rules in the private sector, anyway. In the public sector, certain states already allow some form of “members-only unions.” In Florida, for instance, public sector unions are not obliged to represent non-members in grievances. The same is true for teacher unions in Tennessee, where multiple organizations compete to represent teachers in the same workplace.

The anticipated Janus decision has sparked a debate. Should public sector unions try to get “members-only” laws passed? Where such laws are in place, should unions really stop representing non-members?

These questions aren’t hypothetical. In April, New York state passed a law, backed by the AFL-CIO, that public sector unions no longer have to provide representation to non-members in disciplinary hearings, grievances, or arbitrations.

Meanwhile national anti-union groups are promoting a similar idea for their own reasons.

Below are links to several perspectives Labor Notes readers sent in. Want to join in the debate? Email us at editors[at]labornotes[dot]org.


tannie | 12/22/20

Garmin is an American multinational technology company founded in 1989 by Gary Burrell and Min Kao.The company specializes in GPS technology for automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor, and sport activities. Due to their development in wearable technology, they have also been competing with activity tracker and smartwatch consumer developers such as Fitbit and Apple.Their website is garmin
Garmin products are famous worldwide, and it has a vast number of clients. Be it an owner of Garmin GPS, smartwatch, or any other product, having Garmin express in your computer is a must-have for everyone to manage their Garmin gadget efficiently. Our team helps in usingGarmin express without any hassle. We provide extended help to Garmin device users so that they can get the best outcome from their devices. is nothing but an application that offers all needful update facilities, troubleshooting help and lot more. We are a perfect destination where you get personalized help for usingGarmin express. Our Garmin customer support team has years of experience in handling all types of Garmin Gadgets, and hence, they are capable enough to assist users in every aspect. With us, you can keep your Garmin device updated, in excellent working condition every time and you can do this from anywhere you want. is a local web page or web address to open the genie setup and Netgear Extender Setup settings. It is a kind of login page to access the WiFi Extender device. If not, you can manually enter or simply into the address bar of your preferred web browser. apart from this, there is a website that lets you set up your Netgear extender automatically without any hassle i.e mywifiext local. The best thing about this website is that the code of this website is pre-configured in the Netgear extender’s firmware. Therefore, when you connect with the network of your Netgear extender, you can open Mywifiext.local without any access to the internet. Moreover, the website is fully functional and works as the live version of the website. Now, let us know how it is used in the setup.

schmitznellie | 12/21/20

If you are facing any kind of difficulty regarding any of the issues related to Garmin Express Download while downloading it or its configuration then no need to worry. We are here the experts who have years of experience in the tech industry.
Garmin Express Download
Garmin Express Update
Download Garmin Express Map Updates

charlesjohny | 12/19/20

How to Fix Cash App Transfer Failed Problems? Whenever you are sending a payment, then sometimes users are facing a Cash App Failed for My Protection problem. If you still feel that your Cash App account has created a problem in transferring money, then don’t worry we are still fixing your problem then kindly visit our website or dial our toll-free number for instant solution.

jollyjoseph | 12/19/20;jse...

jacksmith1793 | 12/19/20

Download Webroot SecureAnywhere from and install with the shown steps on this site. Webroot SecureAnywhere warns you about malicious activities and unsafe sites, and block threats .If you are on the page, you’re almost protected; simply enter your Webroot Product key and the email associated with Webroot login.

anikamalhotra | 12/18/20

This issue really has an extremely simple arrangement, yet some association heads don't appear to like this thought for reasons unknown. To put it plainly, if associations simply require 'part just' gets the Forced Riders will disappear. How hard is that?
Mumbai Escorts

ningauble3020 | 08/04/18

Giving up exclusive rep cedes the battleground to the yellow dog contract and company “unions”. Florida teachers unions compete with non-adversarial “associations” aka front groups for the Kochs. Truth is the decision is in the courts’ hands not the unions. We will al
ways have fewer dollars than the Chambers of Commerce. We have the better weapon though: we are fighting for the most noble causes of liberte, egalite, and fraternite/sororite. You can’t buy solidarity. It can only be earned in class war.

RichardGraham | 05/07/18

This issue actually has a very easy solution, but some union executives don't seem to like this idea for some reason. In short, if unions just require 'member only' contracts the Forced Riders will go away. How hard it that?