Constitutional Law- Civil Rights – Union Use of Dues for Political Action
Defendant unions under the authority of section 2, Eleventh of the Railway Labor Act obtained union shop agreements from defendant railroads. Non-union employees sought to enjoin enforcement of the agreements because the unions used periodic dues, fees, and assessments to support political doctrines and candidates opposed by plaintiffs. The trial court dismissed for failure to state a cause of action, but the Supreme Court of Georgia overruled the dismissal and remanded. The lower court then ruled that petitioners were denied constitutional liberties and issued the injunction. On appeal, held, affirmed. Enforcement of union shop contracts requiring employees to pay periodic dues, fees and assessments, portions of which are used to support political programs and candidates opposed by certain employees, deprives those employees of their freedom of speech and freedom to contract under the First and Fifth Amendments to the Federal Constitution. International Association of Machinists v. Street, 215 Ga. 27, 108 S.E. (2d) 796 (1959), probable jurisdiction noted 28 U.S. LAW WEEK 3108 (1959).