ALBANY – The Supreme Court ruling Wednesday that unions cannot collect fees from non-members could have wide implications across New York, which has the nation’s most heavily unionized public sector.
Unions in New York derided the groundbreaking decision by the closely divided Supreme Court as it may weaken their membership, but business groups and union critics applauded the measure.
The decision applied to the legality of “agency fees” that public employees were required to pay, even if they choose not to be a member of a union.
New York’s labor leaders said they will work hard to encourage public workers to continue to pay all fees and dues.
New York has the highest percentage of union workers in the nation.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded by signing an executive order Wednesday to keep private the personal information of state employees, such as their addresses and phone numbers, to avoid them being harassed by anti-union groups to stop paying dues.