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1997-1998 Preview U.S. Sup. Ct. Cas. 392 (1997-1998)
Contesting Union-Imposed Fees: Must Arbitration Precede Litigation (97-428)

handle is hein.journals/prvw24 and id is 412 raw text is: L A B O R


Contesting Union-Imposed Fees:
Must Arbitration Precede Litigation?
by David L. Gregory
PREVIEW of United States Supreme Court Cases, pages 392-395. © 1998 American Bar Association.

When a bargaining unit is represent-
ed by a union, must nonmembers
who dispute union-imposed fees,
called agency fees, raise their objec-
tions in arbitration before bringing
them to court? (An agency fee is a
fee imposed by a union on non-
members who nonetheless benefit
from the union's representation of
all workers in a bargaining unit.
The fee is limited to the costs of the
union's representation of all workers
with respect to compensation, work-
ing conditions, and the like but does
not include the cost of the union's
political activities.)
Ih November 1991, the Air Line
Pilots Association (ALPA or the
Association), the petitioner, and
Delta Air Lines, Inc., negotiated sev-
eral amendments to their existing
collective bargaining agreement,
including an agency-shop agree-
ment. ALPA, a labor organization
representing the pilots employed by
most American commercial carriers,
has agency-shop agreements with

the majority of other airlines with
which it bargains. The agency-shop
agreement between ALPA and Delta
provides that represented pilots who
choose not to become or remain
members of the Association will
pay a service charge, or agency fee,
to the Association in an amount
equal to union dues and certain
The ALPA-Delta agency-shop
agreement was designed to comply
with the Supreme Court's decision
in Chicago Teachers Union, Local
No. 1 v. Hudson, 475 U.S. 292
(1986). In Hudson, the Court held
that the First Amendment requires
a union to give nonmembers an ade-
quate explanation of the basis for an
agency fee and provide a reason-
ably prompt opportunity to chal-
lenge the amount of the fee before
an impartial decision maker. ...
475 U.S. at 310 (emphasis added).

David L. Gregory is professor
of law at St. John's University
School of Law, Jamaica, NY;
(718) 990-6019. Professor
Gregory's most recent publication
is Dorothy Day's Lessons for the
Transformation of Work,
14 HOFSTRA LAB. L.J. 57 (1996).

DOCKET No. 97-428
MARCH 23, 1998

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